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Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness Begins Long Before Disaster Hits

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The time to prepare for an emergency or disaster is long before any disaster. Take time now to create an emergency preparedness plan for yourself and your loved ones, including your pets. 

Make a Plan

ReadyNC Family Emergency Plan: The NC Department of Public Safety and Emergency Management has created ReadyNC to help NC citizens get ready for emergencies and stay informed when disasters occur.

ReadyNC App: NC residents can download the free ReadyNC (available for iPhone and Android) to get real-time information on:

  • Current weather conditions
  • Real-time traffic conditions where you are, by route or region
  • Where to report nearby power outages
  • Open shelters near you (including ones which accept pets)
  • Counties being evacuated
  • How to prepare for and be safe during typical hazards that impact NC
  • How to create an emergency plan and kit
  • Real-time stream and river flooding information
  • Whom to call for help when disasters strike

Ready.Gov: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Emergency Preparedness web ages were created to fully educate the public on disasters of every description and what must be done to responsibly prepare, respond, and recover should a disaster occur. The site includes resource pages focused on natural disasters, pandemics, home fires, technological and accidental hazards, and terrorist hazards. Also included are pages devoted to special considerations you may need to address in times of emergency and how you can get involved in your local community's response efforts.

Smart 911: Information received by 9-1-1 call centers is often limited based on the type of phone a caller is using. Smart911 is a free, secure, and private national program that allows citizens to register phones and create profiles that provide the details 9-1-1 operators may need in order to assist them during an emergency. When a caller uses a phone registered with Smart911 in a municipality that has installed the Smart911 technology the 9-1-1 systems recognizes the number and automatically displays the profile on the screen of the operator who receives the call.

At a time when you may be panicked, or unable to communicate, or it could be unsafe to communicate, Smart911 ensures that the details you would need to tell 9-1-1 are immediately available in the event you cannot verbally provide them.

Ready KidsThe Ready Kids website features age-appropriate, step-by-step instructions on what families can do to be better prepared and the role  children can play in this effort. It was designed as a tool to help parents and teachers educate children in grades 4-5 about emergencies and how they can help get their family prepared. Ready Kids is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Ready campaign, a national public service advertising campaign designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to natural disasters, potential terrorist attacks and other emergencies.

Visitors to the site will find interactive games and material that is easily downloaded - designed so that children and their families will create an emergency kit and make a plan they can follow in times of emergency. Material is available to assist teachers and parents as well. 

Senior Citizens:  The American Red Cross provides tips to help senior citizens create a personal support network made up of individuals who will check in on them in an emergency, to ensure their wellness and to give assistance if needed.

Pets: The ASPCA provides information on how to ensure your pets will be taken care of in a disaster. 

Financial Preparedness 

Americans at all income levels have experienced the challenges of rebuilding their lives after a disaster or other emergency. Having access to personal finance, insurance, medical, and other records is crucial for quickly and efficiently starting the recovery process. Take time now to collect these important records and secure them in a protected place that you can get to quickly should you need to evacuate during a disaster. 

Resources to help you prepare financially before a disaster

Emergency Financial First Aid Kit and Personal Disaster Preparedness Guide: Created by FEMA and Operation HOPE, these flexible tools are designed to help individuals and families at all income levels collect and secure the documentation needed should disaster strike. They also include helpful tips and suggestions regarding how to safeguard important information, what to do in case of an emergency, and how to work with others to strengthen community preparedness.

Important Legal Documents for Emergency Preparedness: Prepared by Just Great Lawyers, this list shares information about the documents you will want to include in your financial preparedness kit, and shares information about where your documentation should be stored. Lists are categorized by: family, financial, legal, and medical. 

Protecting Children When Disaster Strikes

Post-Disaster Reunification of Children: A Nationwide Approach illustrates the significance of whole community collaboration and inclusive emergency planning by providing a comprehensive overview of the coordination processes necessary to reunify children separated from their parents or legal guardians in the event of a large-scale disaster and reflects how the whole community - to include nongovernmental organizations such as Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, faith-based and community organizations, disability and pediatric organizations, Federal and private sector partners, and civic action committees - can work together to achieve one wide ranging mission.

Need more information?

If you didn't find what you need on this page or need more information on local resources, dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162. Our call specialists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.