Emergency Management - Aug. 31, 2018
With school back in session and the peak of hurricane season approaching, the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Office of Emergency Management is encouraging residents and businesses to review and discuss their emergency plans during North Carolina Preparedness Month.
Residents should plan now how they will respond when disasters strike, said Leigha Cordell, the emergency management coordinator for Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. "It's simple steps that can save lives," Cordell said. "Make a family emergency plan, practice that plan and put together an emergency supply kit. You cannot predict when weather-related or man-made emergencies will occur, but being prepared before a disaster makes recovering from one a little bit easier."
Families and businesses should make and rehearse plans for where to go and what to do if a disaster strikes. The plan should include details about where to meet, how to get in touch with one another, evacuation plans, what to do with pets and how to notify employers/employees after an emergency.
Emergency supply kits should contain enough non-perishable food, a manual can opener, and a gallon of water per person per day to last three to seven days. Other essential items include:
- Copies of insurance papers and identification sealed in a watertight plastic bag
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Cell phone charger or power pack
- First-aid kit and book
- Anti-bacterial hand wipes or gel
- Weather radio and batteries
- Supply of prescription medicines
- Sleeping bag or blankets
- Changes of clothes
- Wrench or pliers to turn off water
- Fire extinguisher
- Hygiene items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, deodorant and anti-bacterial wipes or gel
- Cash and change
- Extra house and car keys
- Pet supplies including food, water, leashes, bedding, muzzle and vaccination records
- Books, games or playing cards
"An emergency kit is essential," Cordell said, "because first responders may not be able to reach you quickly. And having important papers readily accessible will speed up the recovery process because you can more quickly process insurance claims."
More information on severe weather and overall emergency preparedness can be found on the ReadyNC mobile app and online at ReadyForsyth.org. Emergency Management also posts updated information on its ReadyForsyth Facebook page.