As Hurricane Joaquin takes aim for the East Coast, we want to offer some tips to prepare for the rainfall that will come along with this weekend’s forecasted storms. Many regions, including Charlotte where Eastwood Homes is headquartered, are preparing for the wet weather and are under a flash flood watch until Sunday. Just as our state and local governments are preparing for the storms, we are striving to make sure our homeowners and neighbors are prepared, too.
Even though Joaquin's trajectory may now miss the East Coast, there is still the same concern for flooding this weekend. Charlotte Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich spent much of his time on Friday urging people to not write off this storm. The threat for flooding is still real. North and South Carolina and Virginia are under a state of emergency, and by latest reports, some areas could see as much as 20 inches of rain. Charlotte specifically is expected to get 4-7 inches this weekend.
While weather reports can be unpredictable at best, we think it is a safe set to say we will experience a lot of rain, with flooding likely, and possibly some heavy winds this weekend. Couple that with the heavy rain many areas have experienced during the past week, leaving the ground soft, and trees can easily topple over.
We encourage area residents to take a few precautionary measures to prepare for this weekend’s weather. Many of these tips may seem like common sense, but we can never hear them too many times.
First, make sure you have your homeowner’s insurance information handy, including policy number and contact information in case you have a claim, such as from flooding or wind damage. Also prepare for power outages by stocking up on extra batteries for your flashlights and keep you electronic devices charged in case of power outages. Have three-days’ worth of non-perishable food and bottled water per person (and animal). Make sure you have blankets available, too. Have a small suitcase packed and be sure to include any medications that you, your family, and your pets may need.
In case of flooding, be prepared to move to higher ground. If you need to leave your house, stay to higher ground and do not drive through flooded areas. Remember, it only takes six inches of rain to sweep your vehicle off the road. Also, avoid playing in flooded areas because they can contain sewage, snakes, debris and even alligators in some cases!
In case of high winds, batten down the hatches, as they say. While most of us likely won’t see hurricane force winds, it’s still a good idea to secure any items outside that cannot withstand 50 mph winds, such as children’s toys and bikes, patio furniture and umbrellas, garbage cans, plants and lawn décor and equipment. Secure the cover on your grill, too, and move your grill to higher ground or store inside if you are in a flood plain. Bring as many of these items inside as possible because these items can easily be picked up by wind and could land on your neighbor’s car, or through your home’s window, for example.
A more light-hearted idea is to stock up on some popcorn and movies this weekend because the weather will definitely make it a great time for marathon television watching. It wouldn’t hurt to swing by your local library for a good book, too, and make the most out of this weekend of rainy weather! We hope you all stay safe, and dry!
Please pass these tips along to your friends!