Emergency Management - May 4, 2017
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 7-13 as N.C. Hurricane Preparedness Week.
Melton Sadler, the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County emergency management director, said that Forsyth County residents should not assume they are not at risk from hurricanes and tropical storms. "No county is safe when it comes to severe winds, flooding and damage that these storms can bring," Sadler said. "But by planning ahead we can mitigate some of the damage and better prepare our communities. Making sure your family knows what to do, where to go and who to contact when disaster strikes will give you the peace of mind needed to survive a storm."
Plans should include where to go and what to do if a hurricane strikes, and make provisions for those under your care who are unable to help themselves.
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 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
"It’s critical that people prepare for emergencies before a storm hits," Sadler said. "During those first few days, you may be on your own until responders can reach you or until essential utilities can be restored."
People should stay informed during a storm by keeping a battery-powered radio for weather and evacuation information and should know various evacuation routes into and out of their neighborhoods. They also need to heed the warnings of state and local officials and evacuate quickly when told to do so.
More information on hurricanes and overall emergency preparedness can be found online at ReadyNC.org or ReadyForsyth.org or by downloading the free ReadyNC mobile app. Emergency Management also posts updated information on its ReadyForsyth Facebook page.