Triad Safety Officials Prepare For Hurricane Florence
North Carolina is readying for the possibility of a direct hit from Hurricane Florence later this week. Safety officials in the Triad are preparing for high winds and heavy rainfall.
WFDD's Bethany Chafin spoke to Greensboro Fire Department Assistant Chief Dwayne Church about what his department's doing and how community members can stay safe.
On the Greensboro Fire Department's plans:
Really at this point what we are looking at is we want to protect our own residents here in Greensboro. And it looks like the track of this storm is going to be coming right through the Triad area and with some heavy winds and heavy rain. So right now we're not looking at deploying anywhere else, just to stay here and have our equipment ready for our own people in the Triad.
On the aid and resources the department will provide once the storm hits:
Well, it will be on an as-needed basis much like it is at this point. Whenever you call 911, whatever the emergency, we're going to be there for that. We do anticipate that there will be more flooding. And then we anticipate the winds to be high. Looks like now we're looking at possibly 45 to 50 mile an hour sustained winds, so that can create all kinds of problems [and] power outages. And also when you have power outages people start to use their generators. And so we want to make sure that we keep those generators out of the homes, to not create any carbon monoxide poisoning. But really we'll be standing by for any swift water rescues that may happen. A lot of people sometimes during these emergencies will drive into areas where they shouldn't be, and then that creates an emergency. So, really [we'll] just [be] standing by waiting to see what happens.
On preparations community members should be taking:
Well, I think most people now are preparing for the worst. And you can see that there are a lot of people filling up their vehicles with fuel and that's already happened, and people are going out and buying flashlights and batteries and water. ... And just like I said earlier, if you're going to use a generator when the power goes out, make sure that it's outside of the home at least six feet away from the home and definitely don't put it under the house or inside of the home. One thing that our listeners could do also is make sure before this storm hits that their smoke alarms are working. Make sure that the batteries and the smoke alarms are working.
On collaborations throughout the city and county in preparation:
What we've done is we have a Guilford County Emergency Operations Center [and] we have different players from throughout the entire county not just the Greensboro fire department that come into one room, and you have people from the American Red Cross, people from Duke Energy, people from Guilford County EMS, all different players through out the community will be in one room where we can monitor the natural disaster as it happens, and see what those needs are. And we communicate with each other and find out what the immediate needs are. And we have quarterly exercises that we practice once a quarter just to be prepared for an emergency like this.
(Ed.: This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.)