Residents Urged to Be Aware and Prepare
By Tameka Kenan-Norman, City of Rocky Mount NC
Governor Roy Cooper proclaimed September as North Carolina Preparedness Month, which coincides with National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the US Department of Homeland Security. The designation is made each September to encourage Americans to prepare for emergencies.
“You cannot predict when weather related or man-made emergencies will occur, but residents can plan now how they will respond when disasters strike,” said Donnie Daniels, Division chief of Life Safety and Training with the Rocky Mount Fire Department and the city’s Emergency Management coordinator. “It’s simple steps that can save lives. 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.”
Daniels encourages residents, schools and business owners to make a plan and practice it routinely with other household members, staff or employees. 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 employees after an emergency.
“An emergency plan is only the first step in being prepared for when disasters strike,” said Daniels. “Having a plan in place is only good if you practice it. Talk to others in your home about the plan, and be sure to talk with your child’s school officials about the school’s emergency plans.”
The next step, Daniels said, is to put together an emergency supply kit, which contains items needed for survival, regardless of the emergency.
“Emergency supply kit items can be found around the house,” said Daniels.
Basic items that should be in an emergency kit are:
- One gallon of water per person, per day for three to seven days
- Non-perishable and canned food supply for three to seven days
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio with extra batteries
- Cell phone with charger
- First aid kit and first aid book
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Manual can opener for food
- Anti-bacterial hand wipes or gel
- Wrench or pliers to turn off water
- Blanket or sleeping bag, one per person
- Prescription medications, glasses and hearing aids
- Seasonal change of clothing, including sturdy shoes
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and feminine supplies
- Extra house and car keys
- Important documents–insurance policies, copy of driver’s license, Social Security card and bank account records
- Fire extinguisher
- Cash and change
- Books or games
More information on emergency preparedness may be found online at www.ReadyNC.org. Emergency officials encourage residents to download the free ReadyNC mobile app.
Tools for helping to create emergency plans and additional emergency management resources may be found at www.rockymountnc.gov/departments___services/fire. Daniels may also be reached at Donnie.Daniels@rockymountnc.gov or by calling 252.972.1378.