How you can keep your home, pets & family members safe for Irma

Experts and city authorities are letting people know what they can do to prepare for Irma so their families and belongings will be safe during the storm.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- As Hurricane Irma approaches the United States, Charlotte-area officials are urging you to take preventative actions when it comes to your home, pets and family.

I. YOUR HOME

Downed trees are likely going to be a big issue for the Carolinas.

“It’s going to be chaos,” said Tim Young, who owns Tim Young tree service in Charlotte.

“These winds will snap pine trees like graham crackers. They will impale a house with a viciousness. They can kill you in a high wind.”

Unfortunately, Young says most, if not all, tree companies are booked solid.

“It's too late now,” he said. “The best thing you can do is get your cars from out from under the trees. If you have a two-story house, sleep on the bottom floor.”

II. YOUR PETS

CMPD animal care and control offered the following tips regarding your pets:

  • Call your veterinarian and have them email a copy of your pet’s most up-to-date records. Include the pet’s rabies certificate. Print these out and store in a Ziploc gallon size bag in your emergency kit for your pet.
  • Take a pet selfie! Take a photo of you and your pet with your smart phone so you have a recent photo of you with your pet. This proves ownership. Take additional photos of your pet: Close up of face, body shot. This helps with identification if you were to be separated from your pet.
  • Update your microchip! Make sure your pet’s microchip registration is up to date with your most recent address and phone number.
  • If your pet is not microchipped, AC&C is holding a clinic this Saturday, Sept 9 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the AC&C shelter at 8315 Byrum Drive in Charlotte. Mecklenburg County residents can: get a free rabies vaccine, get a free collar ID tag, get a $10 microchip.
  • Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with an ID tag that is up to date with your most recent address and phone number.
  • If your pet is on special medication, check your supply and make sure you have at least 2 weeks’ worth to pack in your emergency to go kit for your pet.
  • If you don’t have an emergency kit for your pet, start working on one now.
  • Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. 

The Lucky Dog Bark & Brew Charlotte is also reserving 30 kennels for evacuees at discounted rates. Call 704.333.4114 for Charlotte or 704.896.5550 for Lake Norman.

III. YOUR CHILDREN

School districts in our area -- including CMS, Rock Hill, Clover, York, Fort Mill, Lancaster and Union County schools -- all say it’s too early to tell if schools will be cancelled.

“We do precautionary drills beforehand so children know what to do, in this case, for weather related incidents,” a CMS spokesperson said. “We have people here monitoring the weather and they will make decisions based on the forecast as it comes up.”

All school districts encourage parents to update their contact information with their child’s school so they can be easily contacted in case of an emergency or cancellation.

“We wouldn’t advise parents to keep their children home unless there was an announcement made,” CMS leaders told NBC Charlotte. “The superintendent would make that call. Parents need to know that they should make sure their contact information with the school is updated so the school has the correct number. Updates are pushed through the school.”

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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