Dare County Emergency Management Director Drew Pearson at the podium, right.

Dare County Emergency Management Director Drew Pearson at the podium, right.

Dare County Emergency Management Director Drew Pearson participated in a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) hurricane briefing panel at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center in Washington D.C. on Friday, May 24.

            Pearson was invited to join acting NOAA Administrator Dr. Neil Jacobs to share a local perspective on the 2018 hurricane season and preparedness efforts leading into 2019.

            Joining Jacobs and Pearson on the panel were acting Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Peter Gaynor, NOAA Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Retired Navy Rear Admiral Tim Claudette, NOAA Rear Admiral Nancy Hann, who serves as the Deputy Director for Operations of NOAA's Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, and Anne Palmer, who serves as Senior Director of Operations, Planning and Readiness for Disaster Cycle Services at the National Headquarters of the American Red Cross.

            Panel participants discussed the recently released 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook, while reviewing lessons learned and actions taken during 2018. While the outlook predicts a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season, all panel participants reminded attendees that it only takes one storm to bring catastrophic impacts to a community and that now is the time to prepare.

            In addition to discussing how the National Weather Service supported Dare County leaders with unwavering weather decision support in 2018, Pearson discussed the year-round impacts coastal flooding has on coastal communities, efforts underway to improve flood alerting and storm surge awareness, as well as the ongoing Love The Beach, Respect The Ocean beach safety campaign.

            Reflecting on the event, Pearson said, “What a great opportunity to join top weather service and emergency management leaders at the Capitol. It was an honor to be able to share a Dare County perspective with these national leaders and other attendees as we move into the 2019 hurricane season.”

            With the start of hurricane season last weekend, Dare County Emergency Management urges Outer Banks residents, visitors and nonresident property owners to prepare for the next storm and sign up for emergency alerts. To sign up visit www.darenc.com/alerts. Subscribers can opt to receive a text, email or a phone call in the event an emergency develops. Examples of emergency notifications that may be sent include: mandatory evacuation orders, reentry information, hurricane advisories and bulletins, emergencies disrupting vehicular/pedestrian traffic and countywide post-disaster information. Now is the time for residents and property owners to make sure their emergency supply kits are stocked and plans to secure property in the event of a hurricane are in place. For information on preparedness visit readync.org.

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