Chatham County urges early preparedness for possible Hurricane Irma impact

Pittsboro, NC – As Hurricane Irma approaches the United States, it is an important reminder that Chatham County residents and their families should take action now to prepare for emergency events like hurricanes.  Knowing your risks, getting prepared, and staying informed are just a few steps you can take to get ready.

Make an evacuation plan and family emergency communication plan, and include your pets. Plan how you will assemble your family and loved ones, and anticipate where you will go for different situations. Get together with your family and agree on the ways to contact one another in an emergency and identify meeting locations.

emergency kitKeep an emergency kit wherever you spend time: home, car, work, etc. An emergency supplies kit is simply a group of items your family may need in or after an emergency. You most likely have the items around the house. You just need to put them together in a box.

Basic Supplies

  • Water – 1 gallon per person per day for 3 to 7 days
  • Food – non-perishable and canned food supply for 3 to 7 days
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and National oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)  Weather Radio with extra batteries
  • Cell phone with charger
  • First aid kit and first aid book
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Anti-bacterial hand wipes or gel
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off water
  • Blanket or sleeping bag – 1 per person
  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Seasonal change of clothing, including sturdy shoes
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, feminine supplies
  • Extra house and car keys
  • Important documents – insurance policies, copy of driver’s license, Social Security card, bank account records
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Cash and change
  • Books, games or cards

Unique Needs

You and your family members may have special needs. You need to plan for those needs when making your emergency supply kit.

For Baby:

  • Formula
  • Bottles
  • Diapers
  • Baby wipes
  • Pacifier
  • Soap/Baby powder
  • Clothing
  • Blankets
  • Canned food and juices

For Adults:

  • Contact lenses and supplies
  • Extra eye glasses
  • Dentures

For people with Functional Needs:

  • Container for hearing aid/cochlear implant processor (to keep dry)
  • Extra batteries for hearing aid/choclear implant
  • Communication card explaining best way to communicate with you

First Aid Kit

You should have basic first aid supplies on hand to help you if you have an injured family member or friend after an emergency. It is important to know how to treat minor injuries. Taking a first aid class is helpful too. Simply having a first aid kit can help you stop bleeding, avoid infection and assist in sanitization.

  • Two pairs of latex or other germ-free gloves (if you are allergic to latex)
  • Germ-free bandages to stop bleeding
  • Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towels
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Burn cream
  • Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
  • Eye wash solution to flush the eyes
  • Thermometer
  • Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine and asthma inhalers. You should periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates.
  • Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant

Non-prescription drugs:

  • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Antacid
  • Syrup of Ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center)
  • Laxative
  • Potassium Iodide (for those who live near nuclear plants; use only as ordered by the State Health Director)

Pets

You need to have an emergency supplies kit for your pet. Keep this kit with the family kit. Make sure every person knows where the kit is kept. The Items below should go in your pet’s kit.

  • Canned or dry pet food
  • Water for 3 to 7 days
  • Food dishes
  • Muzzle, collar and leash
  • Immunization records
  • Identification tag (should contain pet name and phone number)
  • Current photos of your pets in case they become lost
  • Medicine your pet requires
  • Pet beds and toys
  • Pet carrier
  • Proper fitting muzzle

More information on how to build an emergency kit can be found at: https://readync.org/EN/Plan_GetAKit.html.

Know where to go for trusted sources of information in an emergency.  Chatham residents can sign up for CodeRED, a local phone-based emergency notification system, here: http://bit.ly/2gMwi3D.  Information can also be found on Chatham County’s official Twitter: @ChathamCountyNC.

While it is still unclear what path Irma will take, it is important to have a plan in place and supplies ready for emergency events.  For more information on how to prepare for emergencies, including hurricanes, please visit www.readync.org.