May 3 – 9 is National Hurricane Preparedness Week and New Bern Fire-Rescue is encouraging residents to get prepared in case of a storm. Tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin can have a significant impact on our area even if they do not make landfall here.
First and foremost, residents should identify their evacuation route. Develop an emergency plan for you and your family and decide how you will get out if an evacuation order is given. Determine where you will go and identify an out-of-town contact whom your family can call to let them know you’re safe. Make sure you have current photos of your family and pets on your cell phone for identification purposes in case you get separated from each other.
Next, assemble a disaster survival kit or “go-bag.” It should include supplies for you and your family and should be portable in case you are forced to evacuate. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a comprehensive list of disaster survival supplies on its website, www.Ready.gov, to help you prepare for hurricane season. These essentials could be critical to your survival after an emergency or disaster:
- Water – one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
- Food – at least a three day supply of non-perishable food and a can opener, paper plates, utensils, cups and paper towels, as well as food for your pet
- Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio and extra batteries for both
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Prescription medications and glasses, contacts, contact lens care supplies
- Children’s needs: diapers, infant formula, baby bottles, blankets, medications
- Fire extinguisher
- Cell phone and any other computer accessories with their chargers, inverters, or a solar charger
- Local maps
- Trash bags, sanitary wipes, basic tools
- Books and toys for kids, don’t forget toys and leashes for your pets
Another FEMA recommendation for disaster preparation is subscribing to an emergency alert system. The City of New Bern uses the CodeRED system, which alerts subscribers to emergencies in the community through text messages and phone calls. It’s free for residents and you can sign up on the city website or download the CodeRED app to your smartphone. You can also follow the City of New Bern on Facebook (CityofNB) and Twitter (@CityofNewBern) and Instagram (@cityofnewbern) for emergency alerts, updates and information.
“As we continue to deal with the effects of coronavirus within our community, it’s important not to let down our guard on hurricane season,” said Fire-Rescue Chief Bobby Boyd. “The key to safety and survival is preparedness. If we all take a little time now to assemble our survival kits and make emergency plans, we will be better prepared and recover more quickly if a storm comes our way. Of course, we hope we will not have to use our survival kits, but it is important to be prepared just in case.”
Submitted by: Colleen Roberts, Public Information Officer, City of New Bern