Hurricane Florence: Preparedness and Response

Posted by The Arc of North Carolina

With Hurricane Florence expected to make landfall and possibly affecting most of North Carolina, the message is clear. The time to prepare is now. And we want you to be ready. As of this post, Florence is now a category 4 storm. It has the potential to bring devastating storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, high winds, rain and possible tornadoes. Many people are new to North Carolina and have never been through a hurricane and we want everyone to be prepared.

“We here in North Carolina are bracing for a hard hit," said Governor Roy Cooper during a press conference outlining the state's preparations. "North Carolina is taking Hurricane Florence seriously, and you should, too. Get ready now."

One of the best sources of information you can use during this storm is the Ready NC app. It can be downloaded to your Apple or Android device.

Here are some quick tips to help you prepare.

Before the storm:

Check the Ready NC app or local news to find out if there are voluntary and/or mandatory evacuations for your area and when and where shelters will open.

For individuals with I/DD and their families, make sure that you have contact information and can communicate with direct support staff. Also, know any emergency numbers for providers.

If you do not evacuate and plan to stay at home, make sure you have a basic disaster kit. It’s important that you have enough water to stay hydrated, especially after the storm.

Fill your car with gas and make sure you have enough cash on hand.

Don’t forget your pets! Have a pet emergency kit ready in case you need to evacuate.

During the storm:

Stay indoors during the storm unless there is an emergency and there is a need to evacuate.

Use flashlights instead of candles to avoid fire hazards. Keep all extra batteries in one place so you don’t have to search for them.

Have cards, games, books, stuffed animals and any other items that children may need to help them be comfortable.

If you have a child or adult with I/DD with you, their routine will most likely be disrupted and they may require some extra attention to help them get through it.

After the storm:

Make sure that it is safe to go outside. Stay away from trees and downed power lines.

Check on any older neighbors. If you are driving and see standing water in the road, turn around. Don’t drive through any standing water. Turn around; don’t drown! We want to make sure you are prepared for this storm and we will continue to post information about the storm and available resources on our social media channels and our website. Please stay safe!

Additional Resources:

The Autism Society of North Carolina issued a blog on how to discuss the storm with loved ones with autism. has updated a page for individuals with disabilities on how to prepare for the storm.