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Disaster preparedness course in New Bern aims to help residents prepare for hurricanes

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 7:15 PM EDT
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NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) - North Carolina is certainly no stranger to the devastating impacts of a hurricane, and even though the tropics remain quiet for now, emergency services officials in Eastern North Carolina hope that a disaster preparedness course will help residents prepare for any storm that hits us.

The course which is being held on Tuesday, July 20th, and again on Tuesday, July 27th will focus on what the community needs to do to prepare their homes and to keep their families safe.

The program is being offered by Habitat for Humanity, Craven County Emergency Services, and Craven County Disaster Recovery Alliance.

For Emergency Services Director Stanley Kite, being hurricane ready includes understanding the history of storms in the region and the various impacts they have around the county.

“I think it’s very important to know that even though we don’t always get named as a landfall point when a hurricane makes landfall, we get significant impacts,” said Kite.

But what does it mean to prepare? Kite says it’s more than just having food and water to survive. He says people need to understand their individual risks when it comes to flooding, and wind damage.

“They need to know how to go to know your zone and need to know how to collect information if they don’t have that access, go to your local planning board and look at what is the flood insurance program map saying for your property where you live, and they need to have some idea as to the integrity of the structure and what wind zone rating the structure you live in has,” explained Kite.

This program will also focus on some issues that many people have after dealing with damage from a hurricane, and that’s not being able to get assistance because they are missing key documents.

Habitat for Humanity Case Manager Madeline Puckett says in your hurricane kite you should have insurance documents, deed, and property records.

“Insurance is a lot of what people don’t understand and for me personally doing case management just resolving some deed issues, heir property issues is some of the things I’ve seen that people need to be knowledgeable about,” said Puckett.

The course will cover how to make sure your documents are in order, and what resources are available if you need help before or after a storm.

Kite says having all of those pieces of paper, a hurricane kit and understanding the risk your home faces can go a long way to keeping you and your family safe.

“We can’t stop the impact of the storm but we can certainly help and try to encourage and lead people in the right direction to survive the storm,” said Kite.

The disaster preparedness course is being held at 6:00 pm at the Abundant Life Miracle Center at 1901 Garden Street in New Bern. The class is being offered on July 27th.

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