Hurricane Preparedness

Emergency Preparation
It is important for residents to be prepared for any emergency, including hurricanes. 
How can you be prepared for a tropical storm or other emergency?
  • Store a 3 - 7 day supply of 1 gallon of drinking water per person, per day.  Additional water may be necessary for those with special needs such as infants, children, seniors, illness, or pets.
  • If water pressure is low or service has been interrupted, flush toilets as little as possible and discontinue outside water use.
  • To prevent flooding make sure any storm drains are free of debris.
  • ONWASA customers can report water main breaks and leaks by calling (910)455-0722, 24 hours a day, even during storms and emergencies.
  • If a tropical storm or other emergency occurs, ONWASA will place information for the public on our website, on our telephone greeting, and with local media.
After A Storm
After a tropical storm has passed, you should check for water and sewage line damage.

If you suspect damage:
  • Water lines - contact ONWASA and avoid using water from the tap.
  • Sewer lines - contact ONWASA and/or a plumber, and avoid using the toilets.
  • Flooded private wells - wells need to be tested and disinfected before use.
If the water treatment and distribution system loses pressure, is damaged, or interrupted, ONWASA may issue a precautionary boil water advisory.  This means there is the possibility of contamination, and you should boil all water used for human consumption until testing confirms the water system has returned to normal operation.

Quick Tips
Build a Kit/”To-Go Bag”
You may want to prepare a portable kit and keep it in your car in case you are told to evacuate.

Recommended Items for Your Emergency Supply Kits
  • Water – at least 1 gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food – at least a 3 day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask and plastic sheeting
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
Additional Items to consider:
  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler’s checks and change
  • Important family documents such as insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.
  • Sleeping bag or blanket for each person.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. 
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
Make a Plan
Family Disaster Plan
  • Discuss the type of hazards that could affect your family.  Know your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.
  • Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard.  In certain circumstances the safest areas may not be your home but within your community.
  • Determine escape routes from your home and places to meet.
  • Have an out of state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.
  • Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact.
  • Make a plan now for what do with pets if you need to evacuate.
  • Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones and make sure  your children know how and when to dial 911.
  • Use a NOAA weather radio.  Remember to replace its battery every 6 months, as you do with smoke detectors.
  • Tools – keep a set with you during the storm
  • Vehicle fuel tanks filled
  • Pet care items
    • Proper identification/immunization records/medications
    • Ample supply of food and water
    • A carrier or cage
    • Muzzle and leash
Plan to Protect Property
Hurricanes cause heavy rains that can cause extensive flood damage in coastal and inland areas.  You should:
  • Cover all of your home’s windows with pre-cut plywood or hurricane shutters to protect your windows from high winds.
  • Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Keep all trees and shrubs well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
  • Secure your home by closing shutters, and securing outdoor objects or bringing them inside.
  • Install a generator for emergencies.
  • Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage, it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
  • Find out how to keep food safe during and after an emergency by visiting
Be Informed
What to do during a hurricane
If a hurricane is likely in your area:
  • Listen to the radio or TV for information.
  • Turn off utilities if instructed to do so.  Otherwise, turn the refrigerator to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
  • Turn off propane tanks.  Avoid using the phone, except for emergencies.
  • Moor your boat if time permits.
  • Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. 
Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify a hurricane.
  • A hurricane watch means a hurricane is possible in your area.  Be prepared to evacuate.  Monitor local radio and television news outlets or listen to NOAA Weather Radio for the latest developments.
  • A hurricane warning is when a hurricane is expected in your area.  If local authorities advise you to evacuate, leave immediately.

For more tips visit :  weather-readiness