Special to Iredell Free News

RALEIGH — August is Preparedness Month in North Carolina, and Governor Roy Cooper is encouraging individuals, families, schools and businesses to review their emergency plans and update their emergency supply kits.

“North Carolinians need to be prepared year round,” Cooper said. “Take the time now to prepare so your family will fare better during a disaster and recover more quickly after it’s over.”

State officials encourage all North Carolinians to have a family emergency plan and take into consideration the health of your family when planning where to go in case of an evacuation. Your evacuation plan should include staying with family, friends, or at a hotel, which are better options than a busy shelter.

A family emergency supply kit should include three to seven days of supplies including food, water, medications, flashlight with batteries and items such as face masks, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes, as well as any supplies needed to support infants and family pets. You should always take your pets with you when evacuating.

“Emergencies can be scary, but being prepared with a plan and an emergency kit will allow you to better protect your family and pets, while reducing your anxiety about having to shelter in place or evacuate,” said N.C. Public Safety Secretary Eddie M. Buffaloe Jr.

“You improve your chances staying safe when you have an emergency kit and everyone in your family knows where to go and what to do during a crisis,” added State Emergency Management Director Will Ray. “You can also help your community by helping your neighbors prepare.”

North Carolina is an active state for many types of disasters, including hurricanes, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. In 2021 alone, the state experienced 21 tornado touchdowns, 109 flood incidents and 344 severe thunderstorms with damaging wind and 101 hail events.

Severe storms are not the only natural disasters that affect that state. Wildfires, earthquakes and man-made disasters are also a possibility.

For more information to help ensure your family is disaster ready, visit ReadyNC.gov. Also, check to see if your local community offers an emergency alert service for its residents.

North Carolina’s Know Your Zone program establishes pre-determined evacuation zones in twenty coastal counties simplify and improve evacuation execution in the event of a hurricane or tropical storm.

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