How to Prepare for a Natural Disaster

— Written By Shae King
en Español

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Natural disasters are unavoidable. You should, however, brace for them. Being prepared for an emergency before it occurs will help you defend yourself, your family, and your home.

Do Your Research

Become familiar with the risks that could potentially impact your community. Know what natural disasters and emergencies that could affect your area.

Make A Plan

Coordinate with your family on your protocol during an emergency. Keep important numbers on hand. Don’t be reluctant to talk with your family about the possibility of a hurricane, fire, tornado, or flood. Ensure everyone is aware their role and the plan, and afterwards implement drills to make sure your family is on the same page about who does what.

Build An Emergency Kit

Gather basic supplies such as non-perishable food, water, and other essentials that will last at least 72 hours (3 days). Store kit in one place and ensure family members know where to find it. DON’T FORGET YOUR PETS! If you have a furry companion, an emergency kit needs to be created for them as well.

Below are other essential items needed for an emergency kit:

  • Manual can opener
  • Flashlights or portable lanterns and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • A crank- or battery-powered radio
  • Mask/Face Covering
  • Sanitation supplies: toilet paper, moist towelettes, soap, trash bags and disinfectants
  • Phone Charger
  • Local maps
  • Baby food, bottles, and diapers
  • Pet food & water
  • Prescription medications
  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses and solution
  • Dry clothing and blankets

Stay Informed

Contact your local government to find out how it will share alerts and instructions during an emergency. North Carolinians can use ReadyNC to help them plan, prepare, and stay informed. Here in Forsyth County, the Emergency Management Team utilizes resources such as ReadyForsyth to keep residents in the loop on how to stay prepared for natural disasters and emergencies. 

Sources: ReadyNCReady

NC State Extension Healthy Homes: Disasters