Emergency Management - May 3, 2019
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Emergency Management is encouraging residents to plan now for hurricane season by updating their emergency plans and supply kits. Hurricane season officially begins June 1 and runs through November. Governor Roy Cooper has declared May 5-11 as Hurricane Preparedness Week.
Forsyth County residents should not assume they are not at risk from hurricanes and tropical storms, says August Vernon, the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County emergency management director. "Even this far inland, high winds and heavy rains can bring flooding and power outages," Vernon said. "Getting prepared now will give you peace of mind should disaster strike."
Plans should include where to go and what to do if a hurricane strikes, and making provisions for those under your care who are unable to help themselves. Residents should also review and update their homeowners' or renters' insurance policies to ensure they include coverage for damage, natural disasters and flood insurance.
Emergency supply kits should contain enough non-perishable food and a gallon of water per person per day to last three to seven days. Other essential items include:
- Copies of insurance papers, medical records and identification sealed in a watertight plastic bag
- First-aid kit
- Weather radio and batteries
- Supply of prescription medicines
- Sleeping bag or blankets
- Changes of clothes
- Hygiene items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and deodorant
- Cash or checkbook
- Pet supplies including food, water, leashes, bedding, muzzle and vaccination records
Forsyth County residents should stay informed during severe weather by using a battery-powered radio for weather and evacuation information and should know evacuation routes in their community. When asked to evacuate, residents should leave the area immediately.
"Our county has come a long way in preparing for severe weather, but that doesn't mean a storm won't devastate our communities," Vernon said. "It only takes one storm to cause severe damage and planning ahead is the best way to prepare for the dangerous threats hurricane and tropical storms bring."
More information on tornadoes and overall emergency preparedness can be found online at ReadyForsyth.org or ReadyNC.org. Residents should "like" ReadyForsyth on Facebook to receive the most recently updated information. Forsyth County emergency officials encourage residents to download the free ReadyNC mobile app.