Emergency Management - Sept. 3, 2019
The threat of Hurricane Dorian underscores the reason that September is North Carolina Preparedness Month, and the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Office of Emergency Management is encouraging residents and businesses to review and discuss their emergency plans.
Residents should plan now how they will respond when disasters strike, said August Vernon, the emergency management director for Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. "You cannot predict when weather-related or man-made emergencies will occur," Vernon said, "but you can take steps now to be prepared. Make a family emergency plan, practice that plan and put together an emergency supply kit. Being prepared before a disaster makes recovering from one a little bit easier."
Families, businesses and schools should make a plan and practice it with other members of the household, staff or employees. Plans should include where to meet, how to get in touch with one another, evacuation plans, what to do with pets and how to notify 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," Vernon 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.