RALEIGH, N.C. -- Gov. Cooper is warning all North Carolinians to brace for a hard hit from Hurricane Florence and to "get ready now."


In an 11 a.m. conference on Monday, Cooper said the best safety play is preparation and common sense and he urged residents to use these next two days to get ready. 

"Our best defense is good preparation," Cooper said. 

As of 11 a.m., Hurricane Florence is now a Category 3 storm, and is likely to strengthen. 

"The fact that this storm and the hurricane modeling has been so consistent over the past few days, we do know we're in the bullseye for the storm," said Cooper.

Cooper said that Florence is a threat far beyond the coast. He said they are planning for a statewide event and that inland counties are also at risk. Western NC should prepare for possible landslides with the significant amount of rain forecast, Cooper warned. 

Cooper’s office says state agencies are coordinating resources and reviewing emergency response plans to be ready for the worst case scenario. The state Emergency Operations Center is activated and 200 National Guard troops are also activated.

N.C. Emergency Management is coordinating with counties, the federal emergency management agency and other key partners ahead of the storm. NCDOT employees are readying hurricane response equipment like bulldozers, motor graders and chainsaws to ensure they're good to go.

The Red Cross and other volunteer organizations have also already pledged their help. 

Gov. Cooper gave the following tips for preparing for the storm:

  • Review your emergency plan now
  • Figure out your evacuation
  • Figure out how you will contact your family and friends, particularly senior citizens
  • Gather up important items
  • Remember your pets
  • Clear your yard of debris
  • Stay tuned to news and local weather forecasts

A State of Emergency remains in effect for the state, and has helped farmers harvest crops ahead of the storm.

Mike Sprayberry with the National Emergency Management Association also urged North Carolinians to download the Ready NC app to stay up to date with emergency updates from the state. 

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