Hurricane Dorian, now a Category 3 storm, is slowly moving away from the Bahamas and inching its way toward the southeastern United States. Forecasters predict Dorian will move “dangerously close” to the Florida coast this evening. It is then expected to turn north/northeast on Wednesday and begin moving slowly up the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.
In North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper is urging livestock owners and residents at large to act now to ready for the hurricane. The National Weather Service reports that the coastal areas of the Carolinas “could see Dorian’s effects through early Friday, including anywhere from 5” to 15” of rain and life-threatening flash floods."
Hog producers are urged to move animals out of harm’s way, get generators set up, manage lagoon preparedness and insure adequate food and supplies are on-hand to help operations weather the storm. The state ranks second in the nation for hog production and has a current inventory of 8.9 million hogs.
Gov. Cooper has lifted a requirement to weigh vehicles transporting livestock, poultry or crops ready to be harvested. He also is allowing drivers to work longer than normally allowed.
In South Carolina and Georgia, animal movement health requirements for pets, equine and livestock are being suspended until Sept. 19 for Dorian evacuees.
North Carolina state officials provided six emergency preparedness recommendations:
- Be sure your emergency supplies kit has enough bottled water and non-perishable food to sustain each family member for three to seven days. Include a weather radio, flashlight, extra batteries, toiletries, a 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.
- Plan for your pets. Gather supplies and papers for your pet and put them in an easily-accessible container to move with you. Get one of the simple cardboard ones if you have nothing.
- Prepare your home. Clean out gutters and drain pipes. Clear your decks and outside of debris, furniture, etc., that could damage buildings in strong winds. Lower/take down elevated bird feeders.
- Determine if you are in a flood-prone area, such as near to a creek or in a low area surrounded by higher ground. You will be at higher risk of water damage.
- Establish evacuation routes for your area. Plan on at least two ways out of your area; one might be blocked. If you live with other people, all should know of and agree to congregation meet-up places away from your home, in case you have to evacuate or cannot get to your neighborhood.
- Listen to radio/local TV for advice. Stay tuned to local news for the latest advisories from the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center (NHC), as well as state and local emergency management officials.