With school back in session and the peak of hurricane season approaching, Sampson County Emergency Management officials and Sampson County Health Department are encouraging residents and businesses to review and discuss their emergency plans and update emergency supplies kits.
“You cannot predict when weather-related or man-made emergencies will occur, but residents can plan now how they will respond when disasters strike,” Wanda Robinson, Sampson County Health Department director, said. “It’s simple steps that can save lives. 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.”
Governor Roy Cooper proclaimed September as North Carolina Preparedness Month which coincides with National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The designation is made each September to encourage Americans to prepare for emergencies.
The Sampson County Health Department 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 Amy Lucas, Sampson County Emergency Preparedness coordinator. “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,” Lucas said, “is to put together an emergency supplies kit, which contains items needed for survival regardless of the emergency.”
“Items for an emergency supplies kit can be found around the house,” said Lucas. “Having an emergency supplies kit will help you after an emergency because first responders may not be able to reach you quickly. Also, 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 3 to 7 days
• Food – non-perishable and canned food supply for 3 to 7 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 – 1 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 – copies of insurance policies, driver’s license, Social Security card, bank account records
• Fire extinguisher
• Cash and change
• Books, games or cards
For more emergency preparedness information visit ReadyNC.org, download the free ReadyNC mobile app or visit the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/index.html.