The Pender County Office of Emergency Management urged residents to prepare for Hurricane Irma.

“We’re tracking this storm,” said Tom Collins, Pender County Emergency Manager. “Every Pender County resident should take precautions to prepare for Hurricane Irma.”

Collins said families should have emergency kits ready.

“Be sure your emergency supplies kit has enough bottled water and non-perishable food to sustain each family member for three to seven days,” Collins said. “Include a weather radio, flashlight, extra batteries, toiletries, change of clothes, blankets or sleeping bag, rain gear and appropriate footwear. Also include copies of important documents, such as birth certificates and insurance policies.”

While preparing for a family emergency, don’t forget to plan for your pets. Gather supplies for your pet and put them in an easily-accessible container.

“Now is the time to prepare your home,” said Collins. “Clean out gutters and clear property of debris that could damage buildings in strong winds”

The Pender County Office of Emergency Management urges all residents to secure lawn furniture, gas grills, and items that can be become flying debris. Collins said residents should prepare for possible power outages.

Homeowners will need to purchase items such as lumber and shutters now. Pre-drill the window casings, Collins said.

“Residents in flood-prone areas should know local evacuation routes,” Collins said. “We are not issuing a voluntary evacuation at this time, but we want all Pender County residents to know the routes.”

“We are monitoring Hurricane Irma,” said Collins. “It’s important for residents to keep up with weather advisories.”

Residents may register for CodeRed, the county’s emergency alert system, at http://www.penderem.com.

Pender County Emergency Management will post updates on the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/penderem and on the website http://www.penderem.com.

If you need assistance call the EM office at 910- 259-1210.

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COVID-19 vaccination appointments are NOW being accepted for everyone 12 years and older. Schedule your appointment in Burgaw or Hampstead. (Moderna vaccine is only approved for age 18 and up.)

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