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AAA Carolinas urges caution ahead of hurricane

CHARLOTTE  – A state of emergency has been declared in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia due to possible impacts from Hurricane Florence, as it is currently projected to hit the Carolina Coast later this week.

As of now, Florence is expected to be as strong as a Category 4 hurricane by the time it makes its closest approach to the United States from Wednesday to Thursday. The greatest concerns with the approaching storm are strong winds – with gusts topping 100 mph and heavy rainfall – with the potential for damaging floods.

AAA Carolinas will continue to monitor the path of this storm and update its followers as such. We urge Carolina residents to stay up-to-date on evacuation routes and safety information.

For South Carolinians: https://www.scdot.org/travel/stormResources.aspx
For North Carolinians: https://readync.org/EN/Plan_Evacuating.html

“Hurricane Florence is projected to be powerful and damaging and as of now, it is headed our way,” said Dave Parsons, AAA Carolinas President and CEO. “We are urging everyone in its path to take this seriously and heed to the warnings of officials. Make plans to evacuate, secure your home and pets and get out of harm’s way.”

AAA Carolinas recommends the following:

Before a Storm:
• Locate all of your important records (such as passports, birth certificates and insurance documents) in advance of a natural disaster and secure them in a bank safety deposit box to avoid damage.
• Plan your family’s evacuation route and have an emergency plan.
• Comprise an emergency kit of bottled water, non-perishable food, batteries, flashlights and first aid supplies.
• Do not leave your pets behind.
• Secure your property by tying down any freestanding outdoor items. Reinforce your garage doors.
• Keep trees and shrubs trimmed to improve their wind resistance.
• If you or a loved one depends on electric power for things like medical equipment, make plans to get where it can be guaranteed or prioritized.
• Inventory your belongings and keep valuable belongings in a waterproof pouch, including documents and photos.

During a Storm:
• Pay close attention to hurricane alerts. Know the difference between a hurricane watch (hurricane-type conditions are likely in your area) and a hurricane warning (a hurricane is expected within 24 hours).
• Evacuate if possible. Use the evacuation plan you’ve already prepared, leave early and during daylight hours.
• Stay calm.
AAA Driving Tips:

Before Driving:
• Do not drive in rainy weather and high winds if you don’t have to.
• Check your tires (including your spare) to make sure they have plenty of tread and are properly inflated.
• Before the storm hits, fill up your gas tank.
• Make sure the windshield wipers are in good shape. The blades should completely clear the glass with each swipe. Replace any blade that leaves streaks or misses spots.
• Pack an emergency kit in your vehicle, which includes a flashlight with extra batteries; a first-aid kit; drinking water; mobile phone and car charger; extra snacks/food for your travelers and any pets; battery booster cables; and emergency flares or reflectors.

On the Road:
• To boost visibility, drive with your headlights on.
• Reduce your speed to account for the lower traction on wet roads and the destabilizing effects of high winds.
• To avoid a collision, keep enough open space around your vehicle. Drivers should extend their following distance to at least 5 or 6 seconds, and adjust speed to keep open space to at least one side of your vehicle at all times.
• If your vehicle starts to hydroplane, gently ease off the accelerator and continue to look and steer where you want to go. This will help the vehicle regain traction.
• Avoid driving through flooded areas, even if you are familiar with the roads. The flooded area may contain dangers such as debris, tree branches or power lines that are not visible. The best thing you can do is turn around and find an alternate route.
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