• 12:10 am Three Bladen Softball Teams In State Tournaments This Weekend
  • 11:55 pm Bladen pre-kindergarten application days scheduled July 22-24
  • 11:37 pm Municipal races taking shaping as filing deadline is noon Friday
  • 10:31 pm July 18 Vineyard Golf Thundering Herd Results
  • 10:27 pm This Day in History for July 19

This week, North Carolina will be experiencing severe weather, including strong winds and a large amount of rainfall as Hurricane Florence makes landfall. There is potential for power outages and major flooding in low-lying areas, and the most important thing you can be doing is to start preparing for a direct hit. This includes:

Having emergency supplies in place at home, at work and in the car, including bottled water, nonperishable food items for three to seven days for each family member, prescription medications, first aid kits, flashlights, and extra batteries.
Creating an emergency communication plan with your family before the hurricane. Know where family members will be during the storm and how to get in touch with them.
Checking your insurance coverage and gather important documents.
Knowing your local evacuation plan and how to receive alerts.
Instructions on how to plan and prepare for severe weather as well as access to real-time weather, flooding, traffic and shelter information can be found at ReadyNC.org. I also want to make sure you have important contact information available if you need to deal with power outages or any emergencies.

For life-threatening emergencies, call 911.
For a toll-free hotline to speak with a trained specialist, call 211. They can provide you information on shelters, evacuation routes, storm clean-up, volunteer needs, and locating food and water. The service is available 24/7.
For road closures, call 511.
For Coast Guard search and rescue, call 1-757-398-6700.
For help finding fuel/gas, visit gasbuddy.com or download the app.
For shelter locations, visit redcross.org or call 888-892-1162.
For volunteer opportunities, visit nvoad.org.
If you have trouble contacting emergency officials, my staff can be reached at (704) 589-7493.