Hurricane Idalia, The Before, During and After

Beginning on Wednesday night, August 30th, 2023, and leading into Thursday, August 31st, 2023, it is predicted that Hurricane Idalia will bring heavy rains, with some coastal towns expecting up to 8 inches of rain. Coastal flooding and dangerous surf conditions are also expected at our beaches this week. Earlier this morning, Idalia has made landfall north of Tampa, Florida.  Although the hurricane may be weakened to a Tropical Storm by the time it makes it’s way to the coastal Carolinas, it is expected to experience heavy rain and winds potentially reaching 35 to 45 mph, along with dangerously strong rip currents.

How to prepare for Hurricane:

  • Build an emergency kit and create a family communications plan.
  • Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you understand how your property will be affected when a storm surge or tidal flooding is forecasted.
  • Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
  • Learn about community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Decide where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
  • Make plans to secure your property.
  • During a Hurricane:
    • Listen to the radio or TV for updates and information.
    • Secure your home, close storm shutters, and bring outdoor objects indoors or secure them.
    • Turn off utilities if instructed. If not, set the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
    • Turn off propane tanks.
    • Minimize phone usage, except for emergencies.
    • If time permits, moor your boat.
    • Keep a supply of water for sanitary purposes, like cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other containers with water.
    • Learn how to keep food safe during and after an emergency.
  • After a Hurricane:
    • Continue listening to the radio or the local news for the latest updates.
    • Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding, even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.
    • If you have become separated from your family, use your family communications plan or contact the American Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS/1-800-733-2767 or visit the American Red Cross Safe and Well site:
    • The American Red Cross also maintains a database to help you find family. Contact the local American Red Cross chapter where you are staying for information. Do not contact the chapter in the disaster area.
    • If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
    • For those who have longer-term housing needs, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers several types of assistance, including services and grants to help people repair their homes and find replacement housing. Apply for assistance or search for information about housing rental resources.
    • Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges. Stay off the streets. If you must go out, watch for fallen objects including downed electrical wires, weakened walls, bridges, roads, and sidewalks.
  • Filing a Claim after a Hurricane, you’ll want to ask your insurance company:
    • What documents are required to complete my claim?
    • Is there a deadline for filing my claim?
    • How long does claim processing typically take?
    • Can I start cleaning up? Should I initiate any repairs?
    • What is my deductible?
    • Do I need to obtain repair estimates?
  • Documentation:
    • Photograph each damaged item.
    • Describe the type of damage.
    • List the estimated value.
    • Note the approximate purchase date.