• By Leigha Cordell, WS/FC Office of Emergency Mgmt.
  • Posted Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Forsyth County Encourages Residents to Plan Now for Hurricane Season

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Emergency Management encourages residents to plan now for hurricane season by updating their emergency plans and supplies kits. Hurricane season officially begins June 1 and runs through November.

“No part of the state is immune from a hurricane’s impacts,” Melton Sadler (Director of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Emergency Management) said. “We want to ensure that our residents and visitors understand that hurricanes and even tropical storms can cause severe winds, flooding and property damage here, too.”

While the season officially begins in June, traditionally mid-August to mid-October is the most active time for hurricanes in our state.

Still, it pays to be prepared. “Last year, Hurricane Arthur made landfall along our coast in early July,” Sadler remembered.

“It’s important to act now before storms strike,” said Sadler. “Those who take time to discuss their emergency plans and assemble or update those supply kits will have peace of mind and be better prepared to survive a storm and recover from it.”

The Office of Emergency Management urges families, businesses and local governments to assemble emergency supply kits, then make and rehearse plans for where to go and what to do if a hurricane threatens the state.

The kit should contain enough non-perishable food and a gallon of water per person per day to last three to seven days. Other essential items include:

  • Copies of insurance papers and identification sealed in a watertight plastic bag
  • First-aid kit
  • Weather radio and batteries
  • Supply of prescription medicines
  • Sleeping bag or blankets
  • Changes of clothes
  • Hygiene items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and deodorant
  • Cash or checkbook
  • Pet supplies including food, water, leashes, bedding, muzzle and vaccination records

Residents should review and update their homeowners' or renters’ insurance policies to make sure they include coverage for accidental damage, natural disasters and, if necessary, flood insurance.

People should stay informed during a storm by keeping a battery-powered radio for weather and evacuation information and should know evacuation routes in their community. They also need to heed the warnings of state and local officials and evacuate quickly when told to do so.

Residents can evacuate their homes with their small, domestic pets to specially designated pet-friendly shelters. Pet shelters will be equipped with pet crates, but people should bring feeding dishes, food and water, immunization papers and other pet supplies.

“Forsyth County is better prepared today than it was 15 or 25 years ago, but it’s not immune to the many ways a storm can impact a community,” said Sadler. “It’s critical that people prepare for emergencies before a storm hits. During those first few days, you may be on your own until responders can reach you or until essential utilities can be restored.”

Sadler said that hurricane veterans may mistakenly focus on the storm category and dismiss the threat of lower-level storms.

“The most dangerous threat from hurricanes is flooding and storm surge,” he added.

More information on hurricanes and overall emergency preparedness can be found on the ReadyNC mobile app and online at www.ReadyNC.org or www.readyforsyth.org. Please take a moment to ‘LIKE’ ReadyForsyth on Facebook to receive the most recently updated information. Winston-Salem/Forsyth County emergency officials encourage residents to download the free ReadyNC mobile app.

Are you ReadyNC?...for Floods

Are you ReadyNC?...for Hurricanes

  • Contact:
  • Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Emergency Management
  • Leigha Cordell - Emergency Management Coordinator
  • Phone: 336-661-6440 or leighac@cityofwsfire.org

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