Disaster Preparedness and Recovery
Counties are on the front lines of disaster preparedness and response. Whether natural or manmade, local emergency managers and first responders are the first line of defense. Counties develop locally driven policies and make key investments in preparedness and recovery and play an important role in promoting resilience to mitigate threats to life, safety and property when disaster strikes. By design, state and federal assistance is intended to supplement local efforts and is triggered when local capacity is overwhelmed. Therefore, it’s important for counties to build a strong foundation for local preparedness. This page provides helpful tips and links to resources that can help counties maximize local resilience. Visit www.readyNC.org for the latest information about planning, preparedness, travel conditions, and weather.
Those with iPhone and Android phones are encouraged to download ReadyNC, the free mobile App, developed by NC Department of Public Safety and NC Emergency Management. It is an all-in-one tool that provides real-time traffic, weather conditions, and information on stream and river flooding, power outages, and evacuations.
- Advocate Personal Preparedness - Provide guidance to residents and businesses on steps individuals can take to prepare for a disaster.
“The main thing we need to keep promoting is preparedness…not just for 3 days, but for 5 days,” said Sprayberry. “Have your emergency kit equipped with flashlights, batteries, medications, non-perishable food, water and an emergency plan, and download the ReadyNC App on your smart phone.”
- Practice Flood Smart Development – Know where flood risks exist in your county and implement smart and responsible development practices to mitigate them.
“It makes good sense that when we build things closer to the water that we do so with an eye to mitigation. Build to the Base Flood Elevation level or higher. If you invest a little bit of money on the front end and build things to base flood elevation or a little higher the payoff is extraordinary on the back end.”
- Promote Flood Coverage - Encourage residents and business owners to get flood insurance coverage, particularly those located in the floodplain.
“It’s so obvious…the people we still have hanging right now that are in a bad spot from Matthew are the ones who didn’t have flood insurance. The ones who had flood insurance…it’s back to normal.”
- As part of emergency planning, it’s important to build an emergency kit, gather vital records, identification and insurance policies, and stock up on supplies.
- Make sure to have a flashlight, battery-powered radio and enough non-perishable food, water, prescription medication, batteries, first aid items and cash on hand.
- Make specific plans for pets, babies, seniors, and individuals with disabilities or unique needs (ex. those with dietary restrictions, or use a medical device).
- Stay updated on evacuation routes and shelter locations.
- Take steps to protect your home by removing or securing loose items on or near your property.
- Establish a family emergency plan so you know how you will get in contact with each other in an emergency.
- Identify an out-of-state contact, since it may be easier to make long-distance calls during an emergency. That person can help keep track of all family members. Be sure everyone knows the contact name and numbers.