Rocky Mount Severe Weather and Hurricane Preparedness

rocky mount hurricane prepardness

Hurricanes are a nightmare, and their effects are felt much farther than the coastline.

Rocky Mount has experienced firsthand the wrath of hurricanes and other storms. From the raging floodwaters of Floyd to the severe weather following Dorian, the Twin Counties have continually demonstrated their fortitude in the worst of times.

But when an emergency arrives, is hitting the grocery store for bread and milk the limit of your preparedness plan? 

It's important to be prepared for severe weather or disasters, but according to FEMA, more than half of Americans--60 percent---do not have some type of emergency response plan.

Others may have a vague emergency plan but have not discussed it with members of the household. 

The good news is that it doesn't take long to come up with a comprehensive emergency plan that will help keep you and your family safe.

Remember that the time to prepare for a disaster is now, before severe weather strikes. We'll take you through the parts of a vital and effective plan step-by-step so that you and your family can stay safe. We’ll also provide a comprehensive list of items that are important to have on-hand in the event of an emergency.

Being Prepared Means More Than You'd Think

While some aspects of a disaster plan may be obvious, still others may be easily overlooked. We’ll review some important points to keep in mind to help you stay prepared.

Maintain Your Yard

Batteries, check. Flashlights, check. Non-perishable food, check. Plenty of water, check.

But what about the trees in the front yard?

Chances are, you don't think about regular maintenance when you're examining disaster preparedness.

While many people can recite the importance of having flashlights, extra batteries or even a generator, they may not immediately recognize the importance of keeping trees in the front yard trimmed. 

When low-hanging branches are trimmed, it makes it less likely that your home will be damaged during severe weather.

Trees aren’t the only outdoor hazards. Be sure to secure any outdoor furniture or loose yard items that can be transformed into dangerous projectiles when airborne. 

Sign Up for Email Lists and Warnings

The National Weather Service recommends signing up for early notifications and warnings. This means you and your family can be more prepared for emergencies.

Make Sure You Have Plenty of Medication

When the forecast turns dire, it’s important to be sure you have enough of your prescription medication.

How many refills do you have left? How many pills do you have now? Always know the answers to these questions.

Never wait until the last moment to get a refill, especially if it is for life-sustaining medication such as insulin. 

Locate and Safeguard Any Important Documents

Do you know where your important documents are located? Be sure they are in a good place such as a waterproof safe.

Have Important Phone Numbers Stored in Your Phone

Of course, you should already have your doctor, your child’s pediatrician and other vital numbers at your fingertips, but the Centers for Disease Control also recommend storing the following numbers:
        Poison Control Center: 800-222-1222
        Animal Poison Control Helpline: 888-426-4435
        Disaster Distress Helpline: 800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746

Establish an Out-of-town Contact

Be sure to ask a friend or relative who lives farther away--ideally in another state--to serve as an out-of-town contact for your family.

Identify Safe Spaces for a Family Emergency Plan

If you were stuck in your home during a hurricane or tornado, would you have an effective place for shelter? Be sure to identify a safe location inside your home.

Remember that there should be two ways out of every room, particularly the place you've designated as a safe spot.

Check on Others in Your Neighborhood

Encourage your neighbors to be proactive in preparing for a disaster. Be ready to lend a hand to those who are elderly or who have health issues.

Create an Emergency Kit

Not sure if you have everything you need in your emergency kit? Take this quiz from the Red Cross to see if you are truly prepared. 

The Red Cross suggests that every emergency kit should have:

  • A 2-week supply of non-perishable food items that are easy to prepare
  • Battery powered radios (or radios that operate with a hand crank)
  • Extra batteries
  • A substantial first aid kit
  • At least a seven-day supply of needed medications
  • Multi-purpose tools
  • Copies of your most important documents, including insurance policies and birth certificates and passports
  • Cell phone
  • Cell phone chargers
  • Cash 
  • Emergency blankets
  • Maps (in case GPS fails or phones lose their charge)
  • Enough water for one gallon per person per day

Follow Instructions of Emergency Management Officials

Our firefighters, police, EMTs and other civil servants work hard to keep you safe during times of disaster or emergency. Please follow all their instructions and be prepared to evacuate if necessary. 

Make a Plan, Stay Safe

We certainly hope that all of our readers remain safe during a disaster, and we want to emphasize that the time to prepare is now. Make a checklist and be sure that you have the items listed above and implement a family emergency plan.
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