You hear it softly in the distance, a low rumble. Then the ping-ping-ping of thick, heavy rain drops. North Carolinians can expect to hear the familiar, rhythmic sounds of thun­derstorms 40-50 times per year, mostly during summer months, according to our State Climate Office. Though fa­miliar, the sounds sometimes precede dangerous weather capable of impact­ing every nook and cranny of North Carolina.

Summer storms in North Carolina run the gamut from rain to hail to high winds, and even tropical storms and hurricanes. June is the official kickoff to hurricane season, and it’s a good month to refocus on tips and informa­tion that will help keep you safe this summer regardless of what kind of North Carolina weather you encounter.

SUMMER STORM SAFETY TIPS

  • Develop an evacuation route now, in advance of summer storms and hurri­cane season. The plan should identify the safest routes away from your area, as well as the closest shelters.
  • Determine a safe place in the home to gather during severe thunderstorms, away from windows, skylights or glass doors that could be broken by hail.
  • Create a family disaster supply kit and be sure to include the following: a battery operated radio, flashlights, a first aid kit, non-perishable food items, a three-day water supply, a non-electric can opener, medicines and cash.
  • Teach children to call 911 in case of an emergency. Communicate with family members to be sure they know how to respond in a storm situation.
  • Remember your pets when planning for possible evacuation. Not all emer­gency shelters allow pets. Contact your local humane society to learn which animal shelters accept pets during disasters.
  • Keep JOEMC’s outage reporting phone numbers (910-353-7117 or 800- 681-4146) in a handy place, like on the refrigerator.

Safety is a fundamental part of our cooperative culture, and that means keeping our employees safe and pro­viding our members with information and practical solutions to help keep you safe. We can’t control what weath­er Mother Nature brings to our state this year, but we can help you prepare for it. And know that if summer storms cause power outages, we’ll work round-the-clock to restore those outag­es as quickly and safely as possible.

For additional information about being prepared this summer, visit JOEMC’s Storm Checklist Page or our Storm Center Resources Page.