Emerald Isle Beach Re-nourishment Project

Beach Nourishment Project

Hurricane Florence Beach Replenishment Project (2019)

Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company was awarded the dredging contract for Winter/Spring 2019 along Bogue Banks. The contract focuses mainly on the central parts of the island (Indian Beach & Eastern Emerald Isle). Accordingly, the beach will be closed to beach driving beyond the Ocean Drive “Dog Leg” ramp for the duration of the project. Check back for updates to this project. All information is courtesy of the Carteret County Shore Protection Office

4/10/19 – BOTH HOPPER DREDGES IN OPERATION.  As scheduled, the Ellis Island arrived on Monday (4/8/19) and delivered her first load of sand at about 6 pm that evening and has been working steadily ever since.  She (Ellis Island) is pumping sand via a submerged pipeline landing at 18th Street and is progressing westward towards Emerald Isle’s Eastern Regional Access. The Liberty Island meanwhile continues to pump sand via a pipeline landing at 8th Street and is also progressing west from this point – currently at 12th Street (SEE 4/10/19 PROGRESS MAP).  The “dredging – sail to beach – pump-out – sail back to the borrow area” cycle is different for each dredge – every now and then both will coincide with a beach pump-out (see figure below).   We could run into rough seas this weekend, but weather and mechanical shutdowns are always built into the schedule.
4/8/19 – PIPE FLIPPED TO THE WEST, ELLIS ISLAND ON THE WAY.   Great Lakes Dredge & Dock finished working eastward from the submerged pipeline landing at 8th Street on Saturday (4/6/19), and is now working westward from 8th Street (at 10th Street this morning – SEE 4/8/19 PROGRESS MAP).  The beachfill connecting Reach 1 in Emerald Isle to Reach 2 in Indian Beach have now been merged, the pipes have been removed from the beach, etc.
The dredge, Ellis Island is on her way from Charleston as this update is being prepared (she’s on the north side of Cape Fear @ ~9 am) and should begin dredging/pumping later today.   The Ellis Island will be pumping sand to the beach near 18th street in Emerald Isle and will proceed west towards the Towns Eastern Regional Access.  The Liberty Island will continue pumping from the submerged pipeline at 8th Street and work west.
The dredges Liberty Island has a maximum capacity of 6,540 cubic yards and the Ellis Island 14,800 cubic yards under optimal conditions.  The Ellis Island has been in operation since December 2017 and is the largest hopper dredge in the U.S.   This will be one of her first beach nourishment template jobs (i.e., not just disposal, but meeting a prescribed nourishment template – see cross section).  We’re glad to see her here!

4/5/19 – The Ellis Island (the “big dredge”) is all set to arrive and start dredging/pumping on April 8th.  All the vessel inspections are scheduled, the second trawler is ready to start and relocate endangered/threatened species away from the borrow source and dredge, etc.   Once the Ellis Island arrives on the 8th, it will be pumping sand to the beach near 18th street in Emerald Isle and will proceed west towards the Towns Eastern Regional Access, then flipped towards the east from 18th Street.  The Liberty Island in the meantime has been pumping sand to the beach from 8th Street and is progressing east back towards the completed section of Indian Beach – they were at 2nd Street this afternoon (SEE 4/5/19 PROGRESS MAP).    Great Lakes Dredge & Dock should be done going east over the weekend and will begin pumping towards the west of 8th Street.   Ideally, the Liberty Island pumping to the west will meet the Ellis Island pumping to the east somewhere between the 8th and 18th street pipeline landings on the beach.  Please note that with the second dredge on-site, there will be lots more activity on the beach – more surveying, more pipe, more heavy equipment, etc.
Also earlier today, the project sponsors, engineers, and contractor had a meeting with the dune plant subcontractor (Coastal Transplants).   We discussed our planting grid, watering methods, fertilizers to be used during installation, etc.  Coastal Transplants will likely start planting the dune crest and dune slope towards the latter stages of next week – starting in Reach 3, then Reach 2, and Reach 1 (basically “east to west” – in the same order as the nourishment project has been completed).  The dune grasses (mostly sea oats and some bitter panicum) are sensitive to their new environment when first planted – they are going from a controlled greenhouse environment to the salt air and wind that dominate the beach.  There will be tens of thousands of plants installed as part of this project and they need to be disrupted as little as possible so they can successfully grow and survive.   Thus, please stay off the vegetated part of the dunes – stay in the bare sand pathways that will be created at each walkway.   Please pass along this friendly reminder to your friends or visitors you may see as well.   Thank you.

4/3/19 – Quick, mid-week update.  The Liberty Island continues to utilize “Pipeline Landing #4” at 8th Street and is working eastward from this point towards the Emerald Isle/Indian Beach Town Boundary, and pumping is currently near the 3rd Street Park (SEE 4/3/19 PROGRESS MAP).  The schedule for second dredge, the Ellis Island is still on track for arrival on April 8th and will service the “3rd Pipeline Landing” located near 18th Street and will first work westward from this point towards the Eastern Regional Access.  And lastly, dune planting activities could commence towards the latter part of next week, first starting in “Reach 3” (“east Indian Beach).   See Greenhouse and Root photos – these are the actual plants ready for delivery and installation.

4/1/19 – We’re on to Reach 1 (East Emerald Isle) and beach nourishment activities are currently moving east from the submerged pipeline landing near 8th Street back towards the completed Indian Beach section (SEE 4/1/19 PROGRESS MAP).   That submerged line (“subline”) was not fully ready on Friday afternoon and roughly two hopper loads were placed off the subline already in place near 18th Street (see 4th and 3rd Pipeline Landing in progress map).  Photos from today’s activities and dune plants from the greenhouse are below.

3/29/19 – REACH 2 COMPLETED, VEGETATION NOTE, ELLIS ISLAND ARRIVING ON THE 8th – Today is somewhat of a transition day.   For one Great Lakes Dredge & Dock have completed pumping to Reach 2 (SEE 3/29/19 PROGRESS MAP), which therefore concurrently signifies the start of Reach 1 – East Emerald Isle (roughly 65% of the project volume wise).  To this end, the submerged pipeline (subline) that serviced the dredge Liberty Island in Reach 2 is being moved today to East Emerald Isle near 7th Street.  The Liberty Island is using this time to refuel and will likely start using the “new” subline at 7th Street later this afternoon/early evening or the subline already installed near 16th Street (see 4th and 3rd pipeline landing, respectively in the REACH 1 MAP).
Also there has been a change in schedule for the second dredge, the Ellis Island to arrive, which is now planned for April 8th – not the 2nd as reported earlier this week.  This does not hamper the overall completion schedule for the project – April 8th was the approximate date the Ellis Island was originally slated to arrive when the schedule was first presented by Great Lakes Dredge & Dock months ago.
And lastly, some initial discussions with respect to the dune planting phase of the project have taken place and planting of the dune crest and slope (see cross-section) in Reach 3 could begin in a couple/few weeks.  We are using Sea Oats and Bitter Panicum, which are native plants to this area.

3/27/19 – FLIPPED THE PIPE IN REACH 2 – The eastern reach off the 2nd pipe landing was completed yesterday and we are working westward now to complete Indian Beach and therefore Reach 2 (SEE 3/27/19 PROGRESS MAP).  Next week will likely mark a shift in the project in a couple of ways.  (1) We will be starting or will have started Reach 1 (eastern Emerald Isle).  (2) The dredge Ellis Island is scheduled to begin dredging/pumping on April 2nd and will service the “3rd pipeline landing” located near 16th Street in Emerald Isle and will progress west towards the Eastern Regional Access first, then flipped towards the east.  And (3) in all likelihood, the pipeline currently being used in Reach 2 will be moved near 7th Street in Emerald Isle, representing the “4th pipeline landing”.  The Liberty Island will be utilizing this pipeline landing and will first work back east towards the Town line shared with Indian Beach, then flip to the east to meet up with the Ellis Island pipeline/nourishment (See PROGRESS MAP).

3/25/19 – Beach nourishment activities were paused during the latter part of last week because of weather/sea conditions.   However, nourishment resumed early Saturday morning (3/23/19) and has progressed nicely since.  The dredge Liberty Island is using the pump-out station/submerged line in Reach 2 and nourishment activities are advancing eastward from this point – past the Ocean Club, and now past SummerWinds (SEE 3/25/19 PROGRESS MAP).

3/20/19 – Beach nourishment continues to progress eastward towards SummerWinds from the active submerged pipe landing (see March 20, 2019 PROGRESS MAP).   The dredge Liberty Island is now going to be accompanied by the second dredge (Ellis Island) a little earlier than first scheduled and should arrive the 1st week of April.   Both dredges will work in tandem to complete Reach 1 (East Emerald Isle – SEE MAP).

3/18/19 – REACH 3 COMPLETE – Reach 3 (“east” Indian Beach and Salter Path) was completed yesterday (3/17/19), and subsequently the first load of sand was delivered to Reach 2 – SEE 3/18/19 PROGRESS MAP.  Beach nourishment activities are now progressing eastward from the 2nd submerged pipeline landing, and will be “flipped” westward once the eastward run is completed.  Also, the submerged line for Reach 1 in Emerald Isle has been installed near 16th Street (see MAP).

3/15/19 – Strong productivity continues and Reach 3 (Indian Beach/Salter Path) could be completed this weekend (see 3/15/19 Progress Map).  If so, dredging/pump-out operations will move to Reach 2 in Indian Beach where nourishment will progress eastward off the 2nd pipeline landing.

3/13/19 – Productivity/progress remains strong.  Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (GLDD) has completed ~3,000 linear feet of the project in less than 5 days and the eastward leg from the first subline landing in Reach 3 (Indian Beach/Salter Path)  is complete – see photos below.  GLDD begun progressing west from the subline landing this morning (SEE 3/13/19 PROGRESS MAP).

3/10/19 – Great Lakes Dredge & Dock has made some nice progress in less than 48 hours of starting the project (pictures below), and have completed ~1,000 linear feet of beach thus far (see 3/10/19 UPDATE).  The sand quality is excellent visually speaking.   We have received a lot of questions regarding how the dune feature will be constructed and tied into the existing, scarped dune that characterized Bogue Banks after hurricane Florence.  Hopefully this schematic next to an actual constructed portion will provide a good mental image = dune construction image.
3/8/19 (PROJECT START) – Right on schedule.   The dredge Liberty Island arrived earlier this morning from Charleston, S.C., underwent a series of mandatory inspections, and subsequently excavated, sailed, and delivered the first hopper load of sand to Reach 3 at roughly 4:15 pm  (pictures below).  Note that beach nourishment will first be progressing eastward off the 1st subline landing (depicted here).  Also, the second subline has been installed today at Reach 2 (see “Station 514+00” here).

3/6/19 (tentative start date is Friday, 3/8/19) – The dredge Liberty Island is presently docked in Charleston, S.C. and will be transiting to Morehead City Harbor over the course of the next day(s) with dredging/pumping activities scheduled to initiate Friday afternoon/early evening (3/8/19) subsequent to mandatory vessel inspections – again in Reach 3, Indian Beach (see updates below).

Other dredging work in the area – It is also noteworthy to mention the hopper dredges Dodge Island and Padre Island started dredging maintenance work for the Morehead City Harbor Federal Navigation Project on February 26th and will likely conclude at the end of March.  Shoal material will be dredged predominantly from Range A and placed in the new nearshore berm east offshore disposal site (see image).  This scope of work is part of a regional hopper approach for the Brunswick, Savannah, Wilmington, and Morehead City Harbors  (~700,000 cubic yards for Morehead City – bid abstract).

Also a second federal contract for Morehead City Harbor maintenance, which represents a carryover project from the previous fiscal year was also awarded to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock utilizing a pipeline dredge (bid abstract).  The dredging ranges include both the Cutoff and Range A utilizing either the nearshore berm east or west disposal sites (see image), and will likely start sometime in April (~1,600,000 cubic yards).

And lastly the Corps of Engineers’ small hopper dredge, the Murden should be arriving to the area in the middle of March and will service both Morgan Creek (~6 days of dredging and ~7,500 cubic yards) in Range 1  (map)  and Bulkhead Channel (~4 days of dredging and ~ 3,596 cubic yards) in Range 1 (map).   Offshore disposal at the nearshore berm west.

2/26/19 – The first submerged pipeline (“sub-line”) landing was transited to and installed earlier today at Reach 3 in Indian Beach at Station 695+50 (pictures below) as land based pipe continues to be delivered to the Indian Beach 4WD Ramp.

2/25/19 – Land-based piping has begun arriving at the Indian Beach 4WD Ramp is actively being staged along the beachfront (pictures below).

2/20/19 – Both the Indian Beach 4WD Ramp and Dog Leg 4WD Drive Access will be used to transfer land-based dredge pipe arriving via flatbed trucks to the beach.  Front-end loaders and other ancillary equipment should arrive at the Indian Beach 4WD Ramp early next week.  Some sub-line (water-based piping), derricks, barges, etc. have arrived and are holding tight in Bogue Sound, situated just north of Ft. Macon.   Otherwise, there are no schedule changes to report as the dredge Liberty Island is planned to initiate dredging/nourishment the first week of March in Indian Beach (Reach 3) and will be accompanied by the Ellis Island several weeks later – the temporary sub-line pipe landing locations from offshore as depicted for Indian Beach/Salter Path and East Emerald Isle remain the same.

2/14/19 – No schedule changes to report.  The dredge Liberty Island is planned to initiate dredging/nourishment the first week of March in Indian Beach (Reach 3) and will be accompanied by the Ellis Island several weeks later – the temporary pipe landings from offshore as depicted for Indian Beach/Salter Path and East Emerald Isle remain the same.  Mobilization of dredge pipe, ancillary vessels, and equipment to the area should be more pronounced in the weeks ahead.

1/30/19 – There will be three temporary pipeline landings that will serve the dredges Liberty Island and Ellis Island.  In general the sand will be pumped ashore from the hopper dredge and progress east or west, then reversed as generally depicted in the new updated maps for Reach 2 and 3 (see – Indian Beach/Salter Path) and Reach 1 (see – East Emerald Isle).  The Liberty Island will arrive on site likely the first week of March followed by the Ellis Island.

1/22/19 – Great Lakes Dredge & Dock should begin mobilizing land- and water-based pipe, heavy equipment, personnel, etc. towards the latter parts of February and although the schedule is tentative, dredging/pumping could begin the first week of March.

Atlantic Beach – Hurricane Relief Workshop

If you missed our first Hurricane Relief Roundtable or are still looking for help fixing your home from storm damage…

We are very excited to be hosting a hassle-free round table session in Atlantic Beach. This event is open to the public, and anyone still suffering from the lasting impacts of storm related property damage is highly encouraged to attend.

The presentation will be held Saturday, March 30th from 9:00 – 11:00 AM at the Atlantic Beach Town Hall (125 W Fort Macon Road, Atlantic Beach, NC 28512)

We look forward to hearing the latest news from an insurance agent, a public adjuster, and other consultants, who will also answer questions you may still have lingering. Linda Rice of Stearns Home Lending will talk about a few options for home loans that can be used to cover rebuilding expenses, as well as options for anyone interested in selling their home “as is”.

Some of the speakers will include:
Linda Rice – Stearns Lending
Jonathan Hughes – East Coast Restruction
Ron Hicks – Public Adjuster
Mike Hancock, Insurance agent, Farm Bureau in Beaufort
Infinity Roofing and Siding

A handful of Bluewater REALTORS® will also be on-hand to provide insight into today’s Real Estate Market, and provide informational assistance to those in need. We will also be passing out a list of reputable companies including roofers.

We’re hoping that this event will help provide some additional resources to anyone still struggling with financing, or finding local service professionals to finish up their jobs and get back into their homes.

Again, this event will be held on Saturday, March 30th from 9-11 AM at the Atlantic Beach Town Hall, which is connected to the AB Fire Station (125 W Fort Macon Road). We had a great turnout the first time we hosted a similar session in Emerald Isle, and know there’s still families in similar situations in the Atlantic Beach area that could benefit from these resources. Refreshments will be served and attendees can register to win a door prize.

If you have any questions about the event, or your business would like to speak during the session- Please reach out to Cathy Sheaffer at (252) 354-2128

Property Damage Relief Workshop Recap

Hurricane Florence Property Damage Relief- Recap

We just want to give a Huge THANK YOU to all of the vendors we had speak at our Property Damage Relief Workshop on Saturday, February 23rd. We appreciate all of your support, and are grateful for the opportunity to organize such an impactful event for our community. To all of the attendees who took time out of their schedules to learn with us- We wish you all the best of luck, and encourage you to reach out to us, or any of the speakers for more advice as you continue to recover. For those that couldn’t make it, see the list of those local resources below and reach out if you are ever in need of their services.

Lynn Anderson & Linda Rice – Stearns Lending
Jonathan Hughes – East Coast Restoration
Ron Hicks – Public Adjuster
Mike Hancock, Insurance agent, Farm Bureau in Beaufort
Maven Construction
Infinity Roofing and Siding
Terry Jones – Cedar Point Flooring & Bayside Chem Dri
Hope 4NC

We are considering facilitating more events like this in the near future. If you are interested in speaking, or attending- Please reach out and let us know. We will keep you posted on the day/time of any further events.

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Help Keep NC Homeowners Insurance Rates Down

NC Homeowners Alliance

The NC Homeowners Alliance works to protect the interests of property owners in the NC General Assembly, while increasing awareness of issues and potential legislation that directly affect consumers’ most important and often most valuable investment: their home.

The Alliance supports common-sense measures that are geared to improving the everyday lives of all North Carolinians. In order to increase the state economy and defend the rights of its citizens, the General Assembly should support legislation that will protect the rights of the millions on NC property owners and encourage more home-ownership, while keep home and property insurance rates fair and affordable.

If you’d like to help take part in our grassroots efforts to protect the rights of property owners, join the Alliance here. You won’t get spammed, as the Alliance is committed to sending information strictly deemed relevant and interesting. We’ll keep you up to date on legislation that will affect your bottom line, such as new rules for insurance rates, your mortgage interest deduction, and local development initiatives. They’ll also let you know about opportunities for to meet with legislators, advocate on their behalf, and make your voice heard in regards to your home and its insurance costs.

Action Needed!

With help from the NC Homeowners Alliance last year, we were able to convince Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey to block an unreasonable homeowners insurance rate hike. The increase would’ve brought the proposed average to over 18%. The Comission heard the outcry and responded to only a 4% increase for most homeowners. We need your help to do it again!

The latest proposal from insurance companies would increase rates by an average of 17.4 percent, but for some consumers the increase could exceed 30 PERCENT!

Please let your voice be heard and tell Commissioner Causey to SAY NO to the insurance companies’ request. You can easily send an email to Commissioner Causey by following this link. You’ll just need to input your information, and a pre-drafted E-mail will send in just a few seconds. If you’d prefer to craft your own message, you can send it over via E-mail to or drop a letter in the mail to:

NC Department of Insurance

Commissioner’s Office

1201Mail Service Center

Raleigh, NC 27699-1201

If you need a quote for Home, Auto or Boat Insurance- our dedicated team is here to provide that for you. You and your family deserve undivided attention with all questions thoroughly answered, and that’s the level of service that Bluewater Insurance strives provide. Learn more by visiting their site, or click the button below to get a free quote.

Hurricane Recovery FAQ: Guests and Homeowners

Hurricane Recovery FAQ: Guests and Homeowners

Bluewater Staff and the Town are working hard to recover our island and answer any questions you may have regarding Hurricane Recovery.

To our Guests and Homeowners: Please see below the list of Frequently Asked Questions following Hurricane Florence.

1. When will your offices be open?

Our offices are now open at this time, 8:30am to 5pm daily

2. When will the curfew be lifted?

There is no curfew at this time

3. How can I file a claim with Travel Insurance?

If you purchased Travel Insurance for your stay – you may contact RedSky about your travel insurance claim at (866) 889-7409 or visit

4. Why will no one answer the phone?

Our phone lines are extremely busy during this time. Our staff is working very hard to answer all calls and return messages. Thanks for your patience!

5. When will we be updated about our vacation?

Bluewater will continue to communicate with you via email and the website to keep you updated.

6. Why does the link to my rental property say “not rentable”?

If the status of your rental property says “not rentable” – it could be due to damages, flooding, or power outages preventing access to the property.

7. Are there restaurants and groceries stores open?

The main grocery stores, Publix and Food Lion are open and fully stocked. There are limited restaurants open at this time and only serving limited menus. Please be aware some businesses are only accepting cash at this time due to power and internet outages.

8. Are gas stations open and gas readily available?

The majority of gas stations are open with gas readily available. Please be aware that some gas stations suffered damages on the island and are are closed until further notice.

9. How are the beach accesses?

You are able to reach the beach; however, there has been erosion from the ocean during Hurricane Florence. Please note that some public and private walkways to the beach have suffered damage. Be cautious while using beach accesses.

10. If the property rented does not have beach access, does this make it non-rentable and can I be moved or refunded?

If the dwelling itself is safe and uninhabitable, but the beach access is not available, this does not warrant the property as being uninhabitable. No refund or move is provided. Guests will be asked to sign a waiver that they agree not to use that access and will use the a nearby public access.

11. If I don’t have travel insurance and the property cannot be rented, do I get a refund?

If the property is deemed uninhabitable, Bluewater will need to process a full refund and block the property from rentals until repairs are completed and the property is cleared as safe and habitable. We will be working with the individual property owners to coordinate these refunds.

12. What documentation will be needed to file with Red Sky Insurance?

An email was sent out to guest with travel insurance with information on material needed for filing a claim based on your period of stays.

13. Are roads in North Carolina closed?

For roads closures and updates please visit

Hurricane Preparedness Checklist

Are You Prepared for A Hurricane?

When the time comes for you and your family to make a decision on whether you’re evacuating or riding out the storm, it’s important to know what steps should follow. Timing is of the essence in these situations, and the longer it takes for you to figure out a plan – the less time you have to physically prepare. You and your family should have a set list of protocols for each person for both scenarios- leaving and staying. Regardless of your decision, here’s a few things to keep in mind when a potentially dangerous storm is still a few days out.

Preparing Your Home

Valuable tips for preparing your home – 

  • Secure all outside furniture and any other objects that could be a potential hazard. Your best bet here is to move it all inside, but if that’s not possible- tie it down to something permanent. This includes- Hot Tub Covers, Grills, Trash Cans, and Pool Cleaning Equipment. Outdoor showers can be a great use of space for anything you don’t want to bring inside.
  • Board up all windows and sliding glass doors. Many coastal homeowners have hurricane shutters that can be used for this purpose, which can be a great time-saving investment. For those without the luxury, 3/4″ plywood usually does the trick. When time is of the essence, it helps to have these boards pre-cut and marked for each spot. If you’d prefer not to drill holes directly into the exterior of your home- these Plylox Window Clips might help do the trick.
  • Prep the Fridge & Freezer. If the power goes out for an extended period of time- You’ll want to salvage as much food as possible prior. Pack up coolers with as much instantly edible food as possible- in the case of a power outage, you likely won’t have any appliances to cook with either. Save some room for ice, and consider stocking up on non-perishable items before the grocery stores sell out of necessities. If you’re leaving, an age-old trick to see if the power went out is to freeze a cup of water and place a quarter on top, then leave it in the freezer. If the quarter sinks to the bottom, you’ll know that the power went off for an extended period of time and any remaining food should be thrown away.
  • Have Plenty of Bottled Water on hand. In these situations, you never know how long you might have to go without clean water, so it’s important to make sure that you’re stocked up for at least a week. Some people choose to fill up bathtubs for teeth brushing and toilet refills.
  • Protect your valuables. It’s probably a good idea to purchase a secure box to keep things like Titles, Passports, Birth Certificates, Social Security Cards, and Insurance Information together- and make sure you know where it is at all times. Family photos, videos, and keepsakes are also things you may want to include but don’t fill it up so much that you can’t carry it in case of an emergency. Be sure to take it with you if you evacuate.
  • Fill up your gas tanks. Don’t wait on this step- as many of the local gas stations can’t keep up with demand just a few days before a storm is scheduled to hit, and it could take them a while to receive another shipment. This not only goes for your vehicles but for chainsaws and generators as well.
  • Get some cash. If electric and/or internet service is down-  a Credit or Debit card won’t help you out in a bind.

Preparing Your Family

Once you and your family prepare and review a Pre-Storm checklist, it will be easier for everyone to focus on their specified tasks when the time comes. Make sure you review it frequently, and update the list as necessary. Here are a few ideas for you to help get everyone involved throughout the process.

  • Have everyone pack a suitcase with essential clothes. Children may need some help with this process, but make sure that you bring some of their favorite items along as well to keep them occupied. Place them in a secure space that you can get to easily, if for some reason you have to leave in a hurry. Household cleaning supplies and a First Aid Kit should also be easily available within these bags.
  • Create a list of emergency phone numbers and addresses. We all rely on cell phones these days, but if you get stuck with a dead battery- it’s always a good idea to have a list handy of people that you can call from a neighbors phone. You should always have the local hurricane shelter information and address handy and a plan on what to do with pets and medically fragile family members, should you feel the need to evacuate last minute.
  • If you do end up leaving the area, be sure to keep family and friends updated as much as possible with your intended location and Estimated Time of Arrival.
  • If you plan on riding it out, go ahead and create a safe space in the most secure room you have. Preferably off the ground level and with little to no window coverage. Set up sleeping arrangements for your family and make sure that there’s plenty of flashlights, candles, and games or books to keep you occupied if the power goes out.

Staying Informed

Knowing what’s going on and what is expected to happen is one of the most crucial parts of staying safe during a Hurricane. Luckily for us locals, we have a few different news crews that keep an eye on the tropics throughout the year and keep us in the loop if we need to start making preparations. You’ll want to have as much of a head-start as possible when securing your home, and go ahead and take off a few days before if you plan on traveling. Whether you’ve made the decision to stay or go, there are a few things you can do to help understand how things are progressing in your area.

  • NOAA National Hurricane Center posts updates at least every 6 hours whenever a tropical cyclone has formed in the Atlantic. You can find these updates on or the NOAA Weather Radio. (A List of NC Stations can be found here)
  • Know the difference between Watches & Warnings!
    • Watches- Hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or greater) are possible within your area. Because it may not be safe to prepare for a hurricane once winds reach tropical storm force, the NHC issues hurricane watches 48 hours before it anticipates tropical storm-force winds.
    • Warnings- Hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or greater) are expected somewhere within the specified area. NHC issues a hurricane warning 36 hours in advance of tropical-storm-force winds to give you time to complete your preparations. All preparations should be complete. Evacuate immediately if ordered to do so.
  • Follow along with your local town government website, E-mails, and Social Media channels for updates in regards to curfews, mandatory evacuations, and re-entry.
  • If you stayed in the area, don’t leave your house until you’re 100% sure it’s safe to do so. Assess any damages to your property, and take immediate actions as needed. Have an idea of your neighbors that have stayed, and check on them once you have identified that the storm has passed.
  • Flooding and storm surge are often the most devastating factors from Hurricanes along our coastal communities. Make sure that it is safe and think twice before attempting to drive through any standing water.

Cleaning Up The Mess

If there’s a few things Eastern NC learned after the destruction due to Hurricane Florence, it’s how to bounce back. Members of each community chipped in to help those who didn’t have the resources, and countless organizations stepped in to distribute food and supplies.  There are still many that are dealing with the repercussions, but for the most part- We have come back closer and stronger than ever. Here are a few tips we learned throughout the last year that we hopefully won’t have to use again for a long time.

  • Tarps are crucial. A lot of homes were damaged from high winds and rainwater pounding on the roof. If you can effectively place tarps over the affected areas, it can buy you some time before you hire a crew for a full or partial replacement.
  • Know before you go. A few areas were cut off for a period of time due to high floodwater over streets. It’s important to have a firm understanding of how deep the water is, and whether or not there’s any fallen debris that might get you stuck on your way home.
  • Choose your contractors wisely. It’s important to make sure that any projects that aren’t possible for you to tackle are licensed and insured for the job they’re hired to do. Whenever possible, make sure you contact friends and/or past clients to gather their experiences.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If there’s something that you need assistance taking care of, be sure to ask a friend, family member, or neighbor to help you out. Don’t overwork yourself and risk getting hurt just to get the job done. There are usually plenty of people around that are willing to help you out.
  • It’s important to have approved permits for any significant projects and/or upgrades when rebuilding after a storm. Check to make sure your general contractor is aware of the process and what documents need to be obtained before starting on any major construction.