May 1–7 is North Carolina Hurricane Preparedness Week
Wake County Emergency Management encourages residents to plan now for hurricanes by updating their emergency plans and supply kits. Hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30, and the National Weather Service has declared May 1–7 as Hurricane Preparedness Week in North Carolina.
“The best time to prepare for an emergency – like a hurricane – is before it happens,” said Sig Hutchinson, chair, Wake County Board of Commissioners. “Make sure your family has an emergency plan, supply kit and way to stay informed. Taking a few minutes to prepare now can make a huge difference if disaster strikes in the future.”
Make a Plan
What will your family do before, during and after an emergency? Decide how your family will leave your home if necessary, and select a safe place to meet outside. Practice how you’ll evacuate, and plan how you will contact each other if you’re not together.
Write down your plan and gather important documents, such as copies of driver licenses, insurance policies, medical records and bank account statements, and put them somewhere you can quickly access them in case of emergency. Talk to your neighbors about their plans, especially those who may need assistance, such as seniors.
With advance notice, you can mitigate damage to your home or business by taking measures such as trimming trees, covering windows and securing loose outdoor items. Make sure to review and update your homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policies to ensure they include coverage for damage, natural disasters and flood insurance.
If you own a private well or septic system, now is a good time to review maintenance and safety procedures to protect the health and safety of your family and home. Read how you can take steps to minimize damage and repairs from a hurricane or flood here.
Prepare a Kit
Assemble an emergency supplies kit that includes enough non-perishable food and water to last each family member three to seven days, and make sure everyone knows where it is.
Other essential items include:
- First-aid kit
- Weather radio and batteries
- Prescription medicines
- Sleeping bag or blankets
- Changes of clothes
- Hygiene items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and deodorant
- Pet supplies including food, water, bedding, leashes, muzzle and vaccination records
- Face masks and hand-sanitizer
Get alerted about weather emergencies in your area by signing up for ReadyWake alerts. This system enables Wake County Emergency Management to send targeted, time-sensitive messages in a way you choose – phone, email or text.
You can also stay up to date on weather and evacuation information during an emergency by using a battery-powered weather radio.
“Having a plan and being prepared improves your chances of surviving and recovering from damage caused by severe weather,” said Autumn Goheen, outreach coordinator with Wake County Emergency Management. “If you’re asked to evacuate due to potential danger, you should do so. You’ll not only be protecting yourself but also emergency responders who may have to risk their lives to save you if you don’t evacuate.”
More information on hurricanes and emergency preparedness is online at readync.gov.