Kure Beach To Hold Information Sessions On Hurricane Preparedness

 (Photo from file: Hurricane Matthew caused beach erosion, power outages and fallen trees on October 8th and 9th, 2016 in the Cape Fear Region. Pictured above: Kure Beach Pier) (Photo from file: Hurricane Matthew caused beach erosion, power outages and fallen trees on October 8th and 9th, 2016 in the Cape Fear Region. Pictured above: Kure Beach Pier)

Kure Beach To Hold Information Sessions On Hurricane Preparedness Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 29 May 2019 02:47

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

KURE BEACH - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration  (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center is predicting that a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season is most likely this year. The outlook forecasts a 40% chance of a near-normal season, a 30% chance of an above-normal season and a 30% chance of a below-normal season. The hurricane season officially extends from June 1 to November 30.

Kure Beach Emergency Manager, Mayor Pro Tem David Heglar, will hold two information sessions on hurricane preparedness and what to do should there be an evacuation on the following dates and times. Both sessions will be held at Town Hall, 117 Settlers Lane.

• Session One - Monday, June 3, 2019 at 5:00 pm
• Session Two - Saturday, June 8, 2019 at 11 am

On May 24th, Heglar sent a letter to all citizens stating, "At the beginning of Hurricane season I would like to take a minute of your time to talk about Hurricane planning and the individual citizen. As a resident of a coastal community – the Hurricane threat is a real issue that requires you to have a plan of action for you and your family. While it may not have seemed it – we as a community were very fortunate that Hurricane Florence came to Kure Beach as a CATEGORY 1 Hurricane. Do not let the minor damage that occurred during that storm cause you to not make the proper plan for you and your family. Please take the time to fully read this letter and then spend time with your family discussing the actions that you plan to take in the event the town is threatened by a Hurricane. A key portion of your personal plan should consider what circumstances would prompt you to evacuate, where you would evacuate to and what you would take."

He explained, "Why evacuate? A Hurricane is the strongest force of nature on the planet with an impact area of hundreds of square miles. While the building codes have continued to make our homes stronger – it only takes a small piece of debris to compromise the structure which can result in leaving the occupants at the mercy of the elements. During the storm, non-evacuees are completely on their own as the Emergency Services personnel will not be able to respond for assistance due to the danger involved. Following the storm – there will be an extended amount of time with no Electricity, possibly no water, and for 2-3 days (Cat 2/3), up to 5 days (Cat 4) or longer (Cat 5) – no outside assistance. This means that non-evacuees must be prepared to provide their own first aid, food, shelter, and water for this length of time with temperatures 5-10 degrees hotter than normal and typically no breeze. Curfews will be in effect – this is to protect the property of those who wisely chose to evacuate meaning that during the recovery phase – non-evacuees will be confined to their property."

Heglar wrote, "The recovery efforts will be focused on clearing downed power lines, debris removal and maintaining the integrity of the town’s water system – during Hurricane Fran this resulted in the majority of oceanfront homes being shut-off due to water pressure concerns. The emergency personnel do not maintain adequate supplies for citizens who elect to not evacuate and therefore a decision to stay means that you must have adequate supplies for you and your family. Postponing the evacuation decision may result in being unable to leave as the Snow’s Cut Bridge will be closed by the NC Highway Patrol when sustained winds make it unsafe to cross."

He explained, "What does the town do? As the storm approaches – Town Officials will closely coordinate with NHC Emergency Management to issue voluntary or mandatory evacuations. Town employees and volunteers will prepare the town’s infrastructure for the storm – boarding up public buildings, renting and hooking up generators to the town’s wells to protect the water system, getting supplies for the emergency services personnel and conveying information door-to-door to ensure that citizens are informed."

He explained, "For larger storms – isolating water to the oceanfront homes, preparing to evacuate town equipment from the island and securing public buildings. Town employees and volunteers will lock-in during the storm at the Fire, Police, Public Works and Town Hall buildings unless the storm severity requires evacuation of emergency personnel inland. Following the storm landfall they will quickly begin the process of recovery to restore vital services, protect property and remove debris. Assessment teams will visit damaged property to perform initial damage assessments required by the State and Federal governments. Curfews will be in affect to ensure that the property of citizens who evacuated is protected. Co-ordination with the New Hanover County Emergency Management and Carolina Beach will occur to restore access to the public as soon as conditions are safe for return."

Heglar wrote, "What if I stay? While this decision is not recommended – if you do decide to stay – YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN. During the storm – you must be prepared to perform emergency repairs to your home if necessary, trained and confident to perform first aid on yourself or others staying in the home, have supplies for an extended period of time and be ready for the oppressive heat that follows a storm. The days from landfall until public access is restored will be spent on your property, with no electricity (unless you have a generator), the sounds of generators, debris removal, and the still air and heat that follows a storm – eating the supplies that you prepared for the storm with and drinking hot drinks."

He explained, "As the Emergency Manager – life safety is the primary focus of the Emergency Response. I encourage you to carefully consider your actions in the event of a Hurricane threat to Kure Beach and to plan accordingly now – so that the pressure of the moment, the bravado of people telling you that it is no big deal and the inopportune timing do not result in a poor decision for you and your family."

For more information on personal planning go to www.fema.gov and www.weather.gov/os/hurricane/resources/

Hegar wrote, "I encourage every citizen to create a Family Disaster Plan to be prepared. If you have any questions or comments please contact Town Hall at 458-8216 and leave a message for me or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

NOAA predicts near-normal 2019 Atlantic hurricane season

“With the 2019 hurricane season upon us, NOAA is leveraging cutting-edge tools to help secure Americans against the threat posed by hurricanes and tropical cyclones across both the Atlantic and Pacific,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Throughout hurricane season, dedicated NOAA staff will remain on alert for any danger to American lives and communities.”

This outlook reflects competing climate factors. The ongoing El Nino is expected to persist and suppress the intensity of the hurricane season. Countering El Nino is the expected combination of warmer-than-average sea-surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and an enhanced west African monsoon, both of which favor increased hurricane activity.

“New satellite data and other upgrades to products and services from NOAA enable a more Weather-Ready Nation by providing the public and decision makers with the information needed to take action before, during, and after a hurricane,” said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator.

The 2019 hurricane season marks the first time NOAA’s fleet of Earth-observing satellites includes three operational next-generation satellites. Unique and valuable data from these satellites feed the hurricane forecast models used by forecasters to help users make critical decisions days in advance NOAA’s National Weather Service is making a planned upgrade to its Global Forecast System (GFS) flagship weather model – often called the American model – early in the 2019 hurricane season. This marks the first major upgrade to the dynamical core of the model in almost 40 years and will improve tropical cyclone track and intensity forecasts. “NOAA is driving towards a community-based development program for future weather and climate modeling to deliver the very best forecasts, by leveraging new investments in research and working with the weather enterprise,” added Jacobs.

NOAA’s National Hurricane Center and NWS office in San Juan will expand the coastal storm surge watches and warnings in 2019 to include Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition, NHC will display excessive rainfall outlooks on its website, providing greater visibility of one of the most dangerous inland threats from hurricanes.

Also, this season, NOAA’s Hurricane Hunter aircraft will collect higher-resolution data from upgraded onboard radar systems. These enhanced observations will be transmitted in near-real time to hurricane specialists at the National Hurricane Center, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center and forecasters at NWS Weather Forecast Offices.

In addition to the Atlantic hurricane season outlook, NOAA also issued seasonal hurricane outlooks for the eastern and central Pacific basins. A 70% chance of an above-normal season is predicted for both the eastern and central Pacific regions. The eastern Pacific outlook calls for a 70% probability of 15 to 22 named storms, of which 8 to 13 are expected to become hurricanes, including 4 to 8 major hurricanes. The central Pacific outlook calls for a 70% probability of 5 to 8 tropical cyclones, which includes tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes.

NOAA’s outlook is for overall seasonal activity and is not a landfall forecast. Hurricane preparedness is critically important for the 2019 hurricane season, just as it is every year. Visit the National Hurricane Center’s website at hurricanes.gov throughout the season to stay current on any watches and warnings.

“Preparing ahead of a disaster is the responsibility of all levels of government, the private sector, and the public," said Daniel Kaniewski, Ph.D., FEMA deputy administrator for resilience. “It only takes one event to devastate a community so now is the time to prepare. Do you have cash on hand? Do you have adequate insurance, including flood insurance? Does your family have communication and evacuation plans? Stay tuned to your local news and download the FEMA app to get alerts, and make sure you heed any warnings issued by local officials.” 

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center will update the 2019 Atlantic seasonal outlook in August just prior to the historical peak of the season. Source: Town of Kure Beach and NOAA.


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