Getting Ready

Find out if your property is vulnerable to flooding. The City of Washington Inspections Division (252-975-9352 / 252-975-9304) has flood zone maps of areas in the city limits. Beaufort County Emergency Management (252-946-2046) has information on areas outside the city. You also can find this information on the website

Gather materials you may need to protect your property from winds or floods, such as plywood, nails, and sand bags.

Make sure insurance coverage on your house and personal property is adequate. Most standard property insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Contact an insurance agent to buy flood insurance for buildings and/or contents from the National Flood Insurance Program. A 30-day waiting period applies before a new policy is effective or to increase coverage on an existing policy.

Remove limbs or trees that could damage electric service lines connected to your house during a storm.

If you or someone close to you relies on home life-support equipment that uses electricity, plan how to handle lengthy power outages. Consult with your physician about options, including services like "Guest Care" at local health care facilities.

Know how to pull the main electric power switch and to turn off the natural gas, liquid propane gas, heating oil and water lines to your house or building.

Assemble emergency supplies that would be needed during and after a hurricane. The following are recommended by Beaufort County Emergency Management:

  • Water A three-day supply (one gallon, per person, per day). Replace stored water every three months. Do not store water in reused milk cartons.
  • Non-perishable food A three-day supply that does not require refrigeration or further cooking prior to consumption. Include a manual can opener. Replace stored food every six months.
  • First aid kit, sunscreen, insect repellent
  • Battery-powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries