RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) In preparation for Isaias, Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency to issue transportation waivers to allow trucks and supplies to move to where help is needed.
The state Emergency Operations Center – already activated for COVID-19 – has activated for the storm as well, and state and local response teams are at the ready.
North Carolina Emergency Management (NCEM), NC National Guard (NCNG), and the NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) are coordinating on where to stage Unmanned Aircraft Systems drone teams in the field based on the storm’s track to provide post-event damage assessments.
The NCNG also has 75 guardsmen and high water vehicles on standby should they be activated to respond.
The NC Department of Transportation has more than 1,800 personnel, 1,550 pieces of equipment, and more than 1,000 chainsaws ready to respond if needed.
They have also suspended passenger ferry today, began voluntary evacuations of Ocracoke, waived tolls on evacuation routes, and are preparing facilities and mooring plans for vessels for storm conditions.
Some local governments have already issued evacuation orders.
While the state is still combating the COVID-19 pandemic, the state is urging people to make every effort to stay with family and friends, or even a hotel, as the first option.
The state will coordinate shelters for those who need to evacuate and this will be an option for those who need it.
People should follow local evacuation orders should they be issued.
Evacuees may find that sheltering looks different this year.
Some changes may include: Residents and visitors seeking shelter will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms. If an individual has COVID symptoms, they will be redirected to a non-congregate sheltering option where they can more easily isolate.
Social distancing means fewer residents in shelters, and if needed, more facilities and volunteers to shelter the same amount of people as in previous seasons.
Maximizing space requirements may mean not all shelters will offer cots.
Be prepared to provide your own bedding and care items.
Meals will be served in sealed containers and shelters will move away from serving lines or buffets to minimize the potential exposure of everyone in the shelter.
For more information storm preparation visit www.readync.org/.
North Carolina has recently introduced the Know Your Zone program in the 20 North Carolina coastal counties.
For more information or to learn your zone, visit knowyourzone.nc.gov.