Storm Water Services Shares Important Tips to Keep You Safe this Hurricane Season
Leo Caplanides
Hurricane preparedness

With the temperatures getting warmer and days getting longer, it is safe to say that summer is right around the corner – and so is hurricane season.

Last year, there were 30 named tropical systems in the Atlantic – more than double the annual average. Although our area is further inland, it is important for residents to remember that widespread torrential rains associated with these storms often cause flooding hundreds of miles inland. This flooding, which is the second leading cause of fatalities during a tropical system, can persist for several days after a storm has dissipated.

To help residents remain safe during hurricane season (June 1 - Nov. 30), Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services is joining cities and towns from across the country to observe National Hurricane Preparedness Week from May 9-15, 2021.

Here are some important things to know before and during a hurricane.

Be prepared:

  • Make an emergency plan.

  • Sign up for CharMeck Alertsto receive important updates.

  • Know your area's flood risk. You can find information about floodplains and search for your address using the interactive 3D Floodzone Map.

  • Learn about the Flood Information Notification System (FINS), which includes the latest data for more than 50 stream gauges and 70 rain gauges in our area.

  • Understand the difference between a hurricane warning, watch and advisory.

  • Get flood insurance. Typical homeowner and renter insurance policies don’t cover flooding, but the National Flood Insurance Program is available to all. Typically, there is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance policies take effect, so don’t wait until the last minute.

  • Check and clean storm drains before heavy rains arrive or call 311 to report blockages.

More tips can be found at

During a hurricane or tropical storm:

  • During the storm, call 911 for any life-threatening situations.

  • Do not attempt to clear storm drains or storm drainage pipes.

  • Stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary.

  • Depending on where you are, go to the safe location that you have identified. If you are not able to shelter in place or with family, go to a public shelter.

  • Listen to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio or check with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management for current emergency information and instructions regarding flooding.

  • If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Never drive around barricades. Local responders use them to safely direct traffic out of flooded areas.

  • Turn around, don’t drown. One foot of moving water could float and sweep your vehicle away.

For more information on Hurricane Preparedness Week, follow Storm Water Services on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.