Public Safety


September 12, 2014Public Safety

WHEREAS, every driver has the right and responsibility to be safe on our roads; and


WHEREAS, more than 5,000 teenage drivers die in car crashes annually; and


WHEREAS, the State of North Carolina loses more than 50 teenagers each year to car crashes; and


WHEREAS, we believe no parent should ever again receive a call saying their child has died in a car crash; and


WHEREAS, the State of North Carolina has more than 105,000 miles of maintained roads, which are traversed by millions of drivers and their passengers annually; and


WHEREAS, operating a vehicle distracted by phone calls or texting is not only illegal, it can be deadly; and


WHEREAS, B.R.A.K.E.S. is a charity committed to the goal of teaching teens and their       parents the importance of safe driving; and


WHEREAS, B.R.A.K.E.S. provides Teen Pro-Active Driving Schools to residents of North Carolina at no cost to our cherished teens and their parents; and


WHEREAS, our roads and highways will be safer, and our teens will come home to their parents because of the advanced training they receive at these schools; and


WHEREAS, the State of North Carolina honors Doug Herbert in recognition of his efforts as founder of B.R.A.K.E.S., in memory of his sons Jon and James;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, PAT McCRORY, Governor of the State of North Carolina, do hereby proclaim

September 12, 2014, as BE RESPONSIBLE AND KEEP EVERYONE SAFE DAY” in North Carolina, and commend its observance to all citizens.


IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the Great Seal of the State of North Carolina at the Capitol in Raleigh this eleventh day of September in the year of our Lord two thousand and fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth. 


September 1, 2014Public Safety

WHEREAS, last year North Carolina experienced 10 tornadoes, 81 hail storms, 150 flood events and 464 severe thunderstorms and high wind events; and

WHEREAS, this year marks the 60th anniversary of Hurricane Hazel, the 25th anniversary of Hurricane Hugo, the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Floyd and the 10th anniversary of Tropical Storms Frances and Ivan; and

WHEREAS, every community, business, family and individual in North Carolina must be ready year-round for natural and man-made disasters, including tornadoes, hurricanes and terrorism that may disrupt normal daily activity; and

WHEREAS, all North Carolinians can take a few simple steps – making a family disaster plan, creating an emergency supply kit and staying informed – to help make preparedness and personal responsibility a priority in every community; and

WHEREAS, residents are encouraged to help the elderly and those who cannot help themselves; and

WHEREAS, residents are encouraged to include the safety of their pets and/or livestock in their emergency plans; and

WHEREAS, and its mobile application are available to help residents with their emergency preparedness plans; and

WHEREAS, the N.C. Department of Public Safety, the N.C. Emergency Management Association, Citizen Corps and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have agreed to recognize September as National Preparedness Month to raise awareness among residents about the importance of being equipped and prepared;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, PAT McCRORY, Governor of the State of North Carolina, do hereby proclaim September 2014, as “NORTH CAROLINA PREPAREDNESS MONTH” in North Carolina, and commend its observance to all citizens.


IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the Great Seal of the State of North Carolina at the Capitol in Raleigh this twenty-fifth day of August in the year of our Lord two thousand and fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.


               PAT McCRORY


  • North Carolina First Lady and the Safe America Foundation stress use of text messaging during emergencies

    August 29, 2014 • Public Safety

    Raleigh, N.C. - First Lady Ann McCrory joined the Safe America Foundation today to encourage North Carolinians to “Text First. Talk Second.”™ when letting those closest to them know they are okay after a disaster. 


    Governor Pat McCrory has proclaimed September as Emergency Preparedness Month, which coincides with National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The designation is made each September to encourage Americans to prepare for emergencies.  


    “This September, I urge North Carolinians to simply text your loved ones during and after a national disaster,” said First Lady Ann McCrory. “Voice calls can sometimes overwhelm provider capacity during a disaster, and it is important that these services are available for our valuable first responders. I would also like to thank First Gentleman of South Carolina, Mike Haley, who is chairman of the Safe America Governors Spouses Preparedness Campaign, for his leadership on this issue,” continued Mrs. McCrory.


    During and after weather-related or man-caused emergencies, SMS text messages will go through before a call.  Mobile call volume simply overwhelms provider capacity during these incidents. Preparedness experts universally agree that during an emergency and its immediate aftermath, communicating via SMS text messaging should be your first choice. This is because non-essential calls often shutdown wireless phone service and prevent 911 calls from getting through and emergency personnel being unable to communicate with each other. In fact, just a single one-minute phone call takes up the same bandwidth as 800 short SMS text messages.


    “In today’s environment, where emergencies seem to always be around the corner, it’s critical for people to be prepared to stay in touch when phones lines are overtaxed. Texting is a good alternative to voice communications and is 800 times more likely to connect you. That’s why we’ve made it such an important part of our Foundation’s preparedness messaging,” commented Safe America president and CEO, Len Pagano.


    Mrs. McCrory’s work in raising awareness on this issue is part of the Safe America Foundation’s First Spouses Campaign – an effort to engage all first spouses in emergency preparedness activities. Championed initially in 2010 by former First Lady of West Virginia Gayle Manchin, the Campaign has since generated support from First Spouses in various states/territories, currently: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Mrs. McCrory joined the Campaign last year.


    About the Safe America Foundation


    The Safe America Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit licensed by the state of Georgia. The foundation partners with corporate, governmental, public and private sector organizations and other nonprofits to improve the safety awareness and preparedness of Americans nationwide. 


    For more information please contact Len Pagano, (, via phone (770) 973-7233. 


  • August 26, 2014 • Public Safety

    Raleigh, N.C. – Governor Pat McCrory is using this year’s noteworthy anniversaries of Hurricanes Hazel, Hugo, Floyd, Frances and Ivan to encourage North Carolina families, businesses and schools to make a plan, get a kit and stay informed in the event of an emergency. 


    “North Carolina has faced severe winter weather, devastating tornadoes and the earliest hurricane on record this year,” Governor McCrory said. “While it appears Hurricane Cristobal will not have a direct impact on North Carolina, it is an important reminder we must be ready at any moment. North Carolina’s beaches are open for business this Labor Day holiday and I encourage people to enjoy the wonderful attractions our state has to offer."


    North Carolina has experienced the gamut of severe weather. The year started with four winter weather storms that pummeled much of the state with snow or ice. In April, nine tornadoes touched down in eastern North Carolina, impacting nine counties. One person died, 28 were injured and more than 300 homes were damaged. The same weather system dumped hail and rain over much of central and eastern North Carolina. 


    Hurricane Arthur, the latest system to impact the state, was the earliest hurricane on record, coming ashore right before the July 4 holiday weekend. Although the storm produced heavy rains and strong winds, it caused minimal impact to the state’s beaches. 


    Last year alone, the state experienced 10 tornadoes, 464 severe thunderstorms, 81 hail storms where the hail was at least one inch, and 150 incidents of flash flooding.   


    The governor has proclaimed September as Emergency Preparedness Month, which coincides with National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The designation is made each September to encourage Americans to prepare for emergencies.  


    From the mountains to the coast and everywhere in between, the governor urged all levels of the community to be prepared. He said the easiest, most economical way people can protect their families and businesses is to plan ahead, gather those supplies and discuss their emergency plans.


    “Emergency preparedness should be at the forefront of citizens’ minds, especially during peak hurricane season,” Public Safety Secretary Frank Perry said. “Schools, businesses, cities, counties and state agencies should routinely test and exercise their response plans. Being prepared before a disaster helps save lives and makes recovering from a disaster easier. Whether it is a flash flood, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, snow storm or even chemical spill, it is vital that all North Carolinians know what to do and where to go when danger threatens.”


    This year marks the 60th anniversary of Hurricane Hazel, the 25th anniversary of Hurricane Hugo, the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Floyd and the 10th anniversary of Tropical Storms Frances and Ivan.


    Hurricane Floyd remains the state’s most devastating and expensive disaster. Fifty-two deaths were attributed to the storm that submerged 30 downtown areas, damaged 67,000 homes and 60,000 businesses, disabled dozens of water and sewer systems, breached 40 dams, knocked out power to 1.2 million homes and closed 1,500 roads and 23 airports. Estimated damages totaled $6 billion.


    Ten years before Hurricane Floyd, Category 4 Hurricane Hugo made landfall north of Charleston then moved northward to Charlotte, where it caused seven deaths and about $1 billion in damage. Twenty-nine counties reported storm-related damage, and Charlotte lost more than 80,000 trees. 


    In 1954, Hurricane Hazel made landfall as a Category 4 storm and was thought to be the most destructive hurricane to hit North Carolina until Hurricane Floyd. It caused major damage to the beaches of New Hanover and Brunswick counties and record rainfall during its 18 hours on land. Nineteen deaths were attributed to the storm which damaged or destroyed 54,000 homes and structures causing $136 million in damage.


    “As a state, we have made major strides with regard to planning and preparedness,” said Mike Sprayberry, director of Emergency Management. “We have cultivated stronger partnerships, developed more comprehensive plans and created preparedness tools like the ReadyNC mobile app to help anyone in North Carolina plan, prepare and stay informed. Ultimately, preparedness begins at home, so people need to develop their individual plans and make an emergency supply kit.”     


    For more information on how to ensure your family is disaster ready, go to or download the free ReadyNC app. The app is available for both iPhone and android devices and features real time weather, traffic and shelter information.

  • State reaches major highway safety milestone

    August 7, 2014 • Public Safety, • Transportation and Infrastructure

    Raleigh, N.C. – Governor Pat McCrory and North Carolina Transportation Secretary Tony Tata announced today that 90.6 percent of drivers and passengers in North Carolina are wearing their seat belts. According to the annual seat belt survey completed in June, North Carolina has now achieved the highest seat belt usage rate in state history.


    “As the first state to the launch the 'Click It or Ticket' campaign in 1993, North Carolina has long been recognized as a national leader in highway safety,” said Governor McCrory. “We re-emphasize that role today with the results of this survey, which show that a record number of North Carolina motorists are now making the smart decision to buckle up.”  


    The increase in seat belt usage, particularly among passengers, is due in large part to the joint efforts of the N.C. Department of Transportation, the Governor’s Highway Safety Program and law enforcement agencies across the state, who partnered throughout the month of May to increase “Click It or Ticket” education and enforcement efforts.


    "I’m proud of the ongoing teamwork that has resulted in our state’s highest seat belt usage rate ever,” said NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata. “More importantly, I am proud of what these numbers mean – that our citizens are making good decisions that result in more lives saved on our highways.  We will continue to work with the public and law enforcement in our goal to reach 100 percent compliance with the law and zero highway deaths.”


    The May “Click It or Ticket” campaign was developed using data from last year’s seat belt survey. This data-driven approach ensured that the outreach efforts successfully reached the right people with the right message.


    “Last year’s seat belt survey showed us that passengers were buckling up less often than drivers,” said GHSP Director Don Nail. “With our partners in law enforcement and at NCDOT, we focused our public awareness campaign and enforcement efforts to ensure more passengers knew of and complied with the law requiring them to wear their seat belts just like drivers do.”


    During the campaign, local law enforcement and the N.C. Highway Patrol increased patrols in the 25 counties with the highest number of unbelted fatalities and citations, and issued citations day and night to drivers and passengers who were not buckled up.


    NCDOT launched an extensive statewide public awareness campaign, focusing on unbuckled passengers in May in conjunction with the increased enforcement effort. It included a new public service announcement - “Every Seat. Every Time.” - that reminded motorists that the law requires you to buckle up no matter where you sit. The PSA was tailored to young males 18-34 who the data show are least likely to buckle up in any seat. The “Every Seat. Every Time.” message was also advertised on the radio, at gas stations, in restaurants and bars, and on social media. 


    Following the May campaign, North Carolina’s overall seatbelt rate increased 2 percent to 90.6 percent, surpassing 90 percent for the first time. Passenger usage increased 4.8 percent to 89.7 percent, and driver usage increased 1.3 percent to 90.9 percent.


    Mecklenburg County had the highest seatbelt usage at 95.6 percent. Franklin County had the lowest seatbelt usage rate at 86.5 percent. 


    Female drivers buckled up more often than males (93.1 percent versus 89.2 percent), and young drivers ages 16-24 are buckling up 89.2 percent of the time, compared to 85.5 percent last year.  


    The annual seatbelt survey was conducted throughout the month of June at 120 sites in 15 counties across the state. Trained spotters observed driver and front seat passengers of stopped or nearly stopped vehicles. Observation data was collected during rush hours (weekdays between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., or 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.), non-rush hours (weekdays between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.) and on weekends (Saturday or Sunday between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.). The Research Triangle Institute certified the survey results last week.  


    The Research Triangle Institute selects counties that offer a representative sample of North Carolina, based on a variety of criteria including county size and fatality rate.  


    For more information and survey county results, contact NCDOT Marketing Specialist Heather Jeffreys at (919) 707-2665 or visit the GHSP website.


  • July 9, 2014 • Public Safety

    Raleigh, N.C. – Every 911 center in North Carolina will be required to have a backup call response plan in place under legislation signed today by Governor Pat McCrory.

    Senate Bill 797 requires all public agencies operating 911 centers (known as Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs)) to have an alternate plan for taking 911 calls in the event that a primary PSAP can’t receive and process those calls. The state’s PSAPs answered 6.9 million 911 calls last year, but outages at 21 PSAPS resulted in 62 hours with no 911 service.

    “North Carolinians should have confidence that emergency services will be there when they are needed most,” said Governor McCrory. “By requiring our 911 centers to have a plan for redirecting emergency calls, citizens can be assured that police, fire and ambulance services can respond quickly during an emergency.”

    Representative Jason Saine, a first responder and one of the bill’s sponsors, says the legislation affirms the state’s commitment to public safety.

    “First responders understand how critical it is during any emergency to hope for the best but prepare for the worst,” said Saine. “This legislation gives first responders added confidence that clear plans are in place for any communication outages that might occur.”

    Of the 127 PSAPs in North Carolina, only 26 have backup plans in place. Senator Andrew Brock, a bill sponsor, says citizens will be better served when every PSAP has a designated backup plan.

    “Our 911 centers should use the latest technology to ensure that all North Carolinians have uninterrupted, high-quality 911 service that allows their emergency calls to be answered in a timely way,” said Brock.

    PSAPS have until July 1, 2016 to comply with the new law.

Executive Order


July 8, 2014
WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 57, was issued on July 2, 2014, declaring a state of emergency due to the approach of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Arthur in the following counties in the State of North Carolina: Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Gates, Hertford, Hyde, Jones, Martin, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Pitt, Tyrrell, and Washington; and
WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 58 was issued on July 2, 2014, waived the maximum hours of service for drivers transporting supplies and equipment for utility restoration and essentials, and with the concurrence of the Council of State temporarily suspended size and weight restrictions on vehicles used for utility restoration and carrying essentials on the interstate and intrastate highways due to anticipated damage and impacts from Tropical Storm/Hurricane Arthur. In addition, Executive Order 59 amended Executive Order 58 and directed the Department of Public Safety to suspend weighing those vehicles used to transport livestock, poultry and crops.
NOW, THEREFORE, by the power vested in me as Governor by the Constitution and laws of North Carolina, IT IS ORDERED:
Pursuant to N.C.G.S § 166A-19.20(c) the state of emergency that was declared by Executive Order 57 and that waivers in Executive Orders 58 and 59 are hereby terminated immediately.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto signed my name and affixed the Great Seal of the State of North Carolina at the Capitol in the City of Raleigh, this eighth day of July in the year of our Lord two thousand and fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-nine.
Pat McCrory
Elaine F. Marshall
Secretary of State


  • July 7, 2014 • Public Safety
    Raleigh, N.C. –  Governor Pat McCrory has issued a state disaster declaration for the Town of Woodfin to help the community recover from a severe storm that struck April 29, 2014. The declaration makes state funds available to help cover the costs of removing debris, providing emergency protective services and repairing local roads and bridges.
    “This powerful storm brought high winds and dumped more than five inches of rain on the Town of Woodfin,” Governor McCrory said. “These funds will aid Woodfin in financially recouping its expenses towards storm response and recovery.” 
    The state declaration means state funds will help pay the Town of Woodfin for 75 percent of the cost of those emergency protective measures.  Estimates indicate the city spent nearly $450,000 to respond to the storm.
    Hazardous weather rolled across the state April 29. The storms caused flooding, uprooted trees and damaged town-owned roads in the Woodfin area of Buncombe County.  One rescue operation was performed to remove a family from their home due to rising flood waters.  The level of damage did not meet the threshold for financial assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    State and local officials have been working closely together since the event to capture all of the storm-related costs to determine if the town would meet the threshold to qualify for state assistance. Final costs were submitted to the governor earlier this week.
    Read and download a copy of the E.O. here.

  • State Begins Recovery Operations, Damage Assessments

    July 4, 2014 • Public Safety, • Transportation and Infrastructure

    Raleigh, N.C. – The State Emergency Response Team continues to respond to resource requests and is transitioning into recovery operations from Hurricane Arthur, which has exited North Carolina waters and continues to make its way north. According to the National Hurricane Center, Arthur is the earliest hurricane to hit North Carolina since records began in 1851. The previous record was July 11, 1901.

    “I want to thank our citizens and visitors for heeding our warnings and evacuating when asked, as well as the news media for disseminating weather and life-saving safety information throughout the storm,” Governor Pat McCrory said. “Although Hurricane Arthur made landfall near Morehead City as a category two hurricane, there are minimal reports of damage. Our teams have transitioned into the recovery phase and have begun damage assessments in the hardest hit areas.”

    Hurricane Arthur cleared North Carolina waters this morning yet lingering effects could still be felt along the coast throughout the day. Tropical force winds are expected to cease by late morning, with the potential for gusts extending into the evening hours. The possibility for heavy rainfall remains through the morning and should clear by the afternoon. Moderate storm surge effects continue in the sounds and rivers, and dangerous rip currents remain a threat throughout the day.

    “Although preliminary reports are very positive, it is going to take us a few days to fully comprehend the full impact of Hurricane Arthur,” Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry said. “We are working with local officials to conduct damage assessments and will continue to support counties with resource requests and recovery efforts.”

    The North Carolina Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains activated with personnel responding to county resource requests and deploying teams to conduct damage assessments. The State Emergency Response Team will continue to work with its federal, state and local partners including FEMA, Red Cross, Baptist Men, utilities and private sector partners.

    No casualties have been reported. As of 9 a.m., more than 44,000 customers are reported to be without power in the coastal counties, with the majority of customers impacted in Carteret County. Ocracoke Island is also without power. A generator and communications package will be taken by ferry to the island this afternoon.

    Brunswick, Tyrrell, New Hanover, Dare, Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Currituck, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender and Hyde counties are under a State of Emergency. Five shelters remain open throughout Beaufort, Carteret, Dare and Pamlico counties.

    N.C. Department of Transportation crews have been out on the roads this morning assessing damage from the storm. Preliminary reports indicate that much of the damage has been contained to the Outer Banks, particularly in the area of Hatteras Island. N.C. 12 is currently closed from the Bonner Bridge south to Ocracoke due to sound-side flooding, sand on the road and numerous downed power poles. Crews will assess the area today as soon as the water recedes to determine the extent of the damage. Crews will additionally inspect the Bonner Bridge, the only link to Hatteras Island, as soon as conditions are stable enough to conduct sonar testing on the integrity of the bridge.

    "We urge people to stay off the road as much as possible in the impacted areas and allow our crews to complete the work necessary to reopen the road and get our residents and visitors back to Hatteras Island as quickly as possible," said Secretary Tony Tata.

    The NC Ferry Division will inspect the channels as soon as water conditions permit and hopes to resume some runs to Ocracoke Island by late afternoon.

    For more information about how to get ready for a hurricane and what to do during or after a storm, go to You can also download the free ReadyNC app – available for both iPhone and android devices – which has real time weather, traffic and shelter information.


  • July 3, 2014 • Public Safety, • Transportation and Infrastructure

    Raleigh, N.C. – The State Emergency Response Team is responding to Hurricane Arthur as it passes near and on the North Carolina coast and Outer Banks tonight as a Category 2 hurricane.

    “The track of Hurricane Arthur has moved closer to our coast, which brings heightened concerns for flooding and storm surge in our sounds and rivers,” Governor McCrory said. “Residents and visitors that are in path of the hurricane should remain indoors and stay tuned to their local media for weather updates.”

    Governor Pat McCrory gives an update on the state's emergency operations during the arrival of Hurricane Arthur. North Carolina Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry looks on.

    North Carolina’s coastal areas are seeing periods of heavy rains and tropical storm force winds late Thursday and into Friday from Hurricane Arthur. Portions of the Outer Banks and the coast may experience periods of hurricane force winds as the storm passes. Coastal flooding, moderate storm surge, dangerous rip currents, heavy surf and moderate beach erosion are also expected. A tornado watch has been issued for much of eastern North Carolina until 2 a.m. Friday.

    “We are closely monitoring the track of the storm and prepositioning search and rescue personnel, National Guardsmen and equipment in areas where we expect the greatest impact,” said Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry. “Our priority is to provide for the safety of all first responders and the general public for the duration of the event.”

    Eleven counties have declared a State of Emergency: Beaufort, Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Hyde, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender and Tyrrell. Three shelters in Beaufort County, two shelters in Carteret County, four shelters in Craven County, three shelters in Onslow County, and one each in Pamlico and Pender counties are open for residents and visitors who need to evacuate. As of 8p.m., more than 6,400 customers are reported to be without power.

    The North Carolina Emergency Operations Center (EOC) continues to monitor the situation and will stay activated with additional personnel on site.

    The State Emergency Response Team is ready to assist as needed. SERT partners include representatives from the departments of Public Safety, Transportation, Health and Human Services and Agriculture, as well as the State Wildlife Division, Office of Emergency Medical Services, the Civil Air Patrol, the N.C. National Guard, the State Highway Patrol, Adult Correction, Swift Water Rescue teams and private sector partners.

    The North Carolina National Guard (NCNG) has soldiers on standby ready to provide direct assistance to state emergency managers, the highway patrol and first responders. Guardsmen are staged at the North Carolina National Guard armory in Kinston and will deploy if required. NCNG has high water vehicles, helicopters, and can provide power generation, medical, communication and shelter support as well as transport supplies if needed.

    The North Carolina State Highway Patrol has placed all essential personnel on stand-by and is ready for deployment at a moment’s notice. Troopers will be monitoring all major highways and will be assisting the Department of Transportation, county Emergency Management officials and local partners.

    The N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) continues to monitor conditions and has equipment and crews in place along the North Carolina coast ready to respond to Hurricane Arthur.

    “Right now our crews are in place and ready to deploy once conditions allow for recovery efforts to begin,” Secretary Tony Tata said. “I encourage people to stay off of the roads throughout the duration of the storm and use caution once it has cleared. We will work to open the roads and resume ferry operations as quickly as possible.”

    The SERT’s Joint Information Center (JIC) will coordinate the release of information regarding state storm response and recovery effort in the aftermath of Hurricane Arthur.

    For more information about how to get ready for a hurricane and what to do during or after a storm, go to You can also download the free ReadyNC app – available for both iPhone and Droid – which has real time weather, traffic and shelter information.


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