After Hermine Passes, A Reminder That September is Preparedness Month

September is Emergency Preparedness Month. Download the mobile app from ReadyNC.org.
September is Emergency Preparedness Month. Download the mobile app from ReadyNC.org.

Cumberland County Encourages NC to Be Prepared for an Emergency

With school is back in session and the peak of hurricane season approaching, Cumberland County Emergency Services officials are encouraging residents and businesses to review and discuss their
emergency plans and update emergency supplies kits.

The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners adopted a proclamation at their regular meeting this morning recognizing September as Emergency Preparedness Month. The proclamation 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,” Cumberland County Emergency Services Director Randy Beeman said. “Make a family emergency plan, practice that plan and put together an emergency supplies kit. Being prepared before a disaster makes recovering from one a little bit easier. Prepare for the worst but hope for the best.”

Last year in North Carolina, there were nine tornadoes, 112 large hail events, 460 wind damage events and 196 flood and flash flood events.

Beeman 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. The next step is to put together and emergency supplies kit, which contains items needed for survival, regardless of the emergency.

“Emergency supplies kit items can be found around the house,” Beeman said. “Having an emergency supplies kit will help you after an emergency because first responders may not be able to reach you quickly. Or, having important papers readily accessible will speed up the recovery process because you can more quickly process insurance claims. Regardless of the reason, an emergency kit is essential.”

Basic items that should be in an emergency kit are:

  • Water – 1 gallon per person, per day for three to seven days
  • Food – 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, feminine supplies
  • Extra house and car keys
  • Important documents – insurance policies, copy of driver’s license, Social Security card, bank account records
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Cash and change in case power outage hinders use of financial ATMs.
  • Books, games or cards

For information on how to ensure your family is disaster ready, go to the NC Department of Public Safety’s ReadyNC.org or download the free ReadyNC mobile app. The app is available for both iPhone and Android devices and features real time weather, traffic and shelter information.

Beeman also encourages citizens to sign up for CodeRED, an emergency notification service that can send severe weather warnings or other emergency alerts to county residents and businesses by telephone, cell phone, text message or email.

The Cumberland County homepage has a link to a CodeRED registration form you can fill out online. Go to co.cumberland.nc.us and click the CodeRED link. You can also call 910-678-7641.

About Kay Whatley 2078 Articles
Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.