News Flash

Emergency Management

Posted on: July 30, 2020

August Is Preparedness Month

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Office of Emergency Management logo

NEWS RELEASE
Emergency Management
Aug. 3, 2020

With the peak of hurricane season approaching, Forsyth County Emergency Management officials are encouraging residents and businesses to review and discuss their emergency plans and update their emergency supply kits.

Advance preparation is the key, says Emergency Management Coordinator Leigha Cordell. “You cannot predict when weather-related or man-made emergencies will occur, but you can plan now how you will respond if disaster strikes,” she said. “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.”

This year, Gov. Roy Cooper has proclaimed August as North Carolina Preparedness Month, a month earlier than in previous years and in advance of the peak weeks of hurricane season. 

Residents and businesses should assemble emergency supply kits, then 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.

This year, evacuation plans should include staying with family or friends, or if necessary at a hotel. Staying at a shelter should be the last resort during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emergency kits should also account for COVID-19 by including face masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes or gloves. The kit 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
  • Weather radio and batteries
  • Supply of prescription medicines 
  • Sleeping bag or blankets 
  • Changes of clothes 
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off water
  • 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

“Items for your emergency supply kit can be found around the house,” Cordell said. “Having an emergency supply kit will help you after an emergency because first responders may not be able to reach you quickly. And important papers readily accessible will speed up the recovery process because you can more quickly process insurance claims.”

More information on overall emergency preparedness can be found online at ReadyForsyth.org or ReadyNC.org. To receive the most recently updated information, “like” ReadyForsyth on Facebook.

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