Dare County holds 2024 hurricane exercise – OBX Today

Image of hurricane exercise participants listening to a presentation in the Emergency Operations Center training room. (Dare County)

Dare County, along with all six of its municipalities and numerous local agencies and organizations, conducted HUREX 2024, a three-day hurricane exercise, from Wednesday, June 12, 2024 through Friday, June 14, 2024 out of the Dare County Emergency Operations Center in Manteo.

Over the three days, more than 130 people worked together, either in person or remotely, strengthening partnerships and exercising plans that will help keep the public safe from the impacts of any storm. During HUREX 2024, participants were challenged by a simulated major hurricane that was developed and named Hurricane Carol by the National Weather Service and would bring 120 mph winds and a catastrophic storm surge to Dare County.

“After several quiet hurricane seasons and a worrisome seasonal forecast, we felt it was time to put ourselves through the paces driven by a major storm,” said Dare County Emergency Management Director Drew Pearson. “HUREX 2024 did just that over three days of great discussion, practice and team building that will help ensure we are ready for any storm that heads our way.”

With the support of an exercise contractor, NEX Disaster Services LLC, participants practiced and reviewed crisis decision-making, unified public messaging and pre-landfall preparations, which included a full activation of the Dare County Emergency Operations Center, as well as emergency response efforts and post-storm recovery.

Many participants also had the opportunity to engage with leaders at the National Hurricane Center, National Weather Service and emergency management professionals to discuss the multitude of unique scenarios that could occur while sharing insights and best practices from recent major hurricane landfalls across the country.

“While HUREX 2024 is now behind us, I encourage everyone to get ready for the next storm before it’s on the horizon and headed to Dare County,” said Pearson. “If you need information, join us at our upcoming hurricane community forum at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head on Thursday, June 27 starting at 6 p.m. or visit ReadyNC.gov for some great tips on how to get ready!”

Dare County Community Urged to Prepare for Hurricane Season

Now that Dare County and its key partners have completed HUREX 2024 and strengthened our collective ability to respond to any storm that is forecast to impact the Outer Banks, it’s the community’s turn to prepare for hurricane season!

Dare County Emergency Managements reminds all residents, visitors and property owners that although it’s been a few years since a storm has significantly impacted the area, it’s important not to become complacent—and to be as prepared as possible for a potentially active hurricane season.

With hurricane season well underway, now is the time to obtain a 2024 Dare County reentry permit, build an emergency supply kit, brush up on local evacuation routes and procedures, download the Dare County Hurricane Guideand sign up to receive customized emergency alerts at OBXAlerts.com.

In addition to following these preparedness procedures and becoming familiar with the county’s emergency decision-making procedures, Dare County Emergency Management also encourages members of the community to consider attending the upcoming opportunity listed below to learn more about hurricane preparedness on the Outer Banks.

National Weather Service Hurricane Community Forum

The National Weather Service at Newport/Morehead City, NC and Dare County Emergency Management will host a community forum about tropical weather and preparedness on Thursday, June 27, 2024 at 6 p.m. at Jennette’s Pier, which is located at 7223 S. Virginia Dare Trail in Nags Head.

This forum is free and open to all members of the public, who are encouraged to attend.

Attendees will have the opportunity to hear a presentation from a National Weather Service meteorologist about hurricanes and their impacts on eastern North Carolina. In addition, the presentation will cover the reasons why it’s important to never focus solely upon the category of the storm, along with discussing all of the impacts any tropical cyclone can bring.

A hurricane outlook for the season will also be covered, while emphasizing that it only takes one storm to make an impact on your life.

In addition to storm impacts, information on how to prepare and actions to take before, during and after a storm will be shared with attendees. At the end of the presentation, there will be a community discussion during which attendees can ask any questions they may have.

For more information about the forum, please contact National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Erik Heden at Erik.Heden@noaa.gov or Dare County Emergency Management Director Drew Pearson at Drew.Pearson@DareNC.gov.