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How to prepare for an emergency

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — September 10, 2018 — 5 min read

Step 1: Plan ahead

Support Circle: Make a list of people who can help you during an emergency.
  • Include contact information for your. family, friends, neighbors, providers, faith-based groups, and community groups.
  • Contact these people to discuss how you will support each other during an emergency. Tell them where you keep supplies.
  • If you are able to, give a spare key to your home to a trusted person.
Medical needs: if you take medication or use medical supplies on a daily basis, make sure you have the supplies you need for seven days.
  • Refill prescriptions for any medications you may need during or after the storm.
  • If you receive Medicaid in North Carolina, you will be able to refill prescriptions early, before the storm. You will be able to receive up to 4 days of dosing.
  • Make sure medical devices and supplies are working properly.
  • Have extra batteries and supplies to last up to seven days.
  • If you have a support or service animal, make sure you have enough food and supplies.
Emergency-supply-checklist.jpgEmergency Supply Kit: Build an Emergency Supply Kit to last for seven days. This will help if you lose power in your home.
  • 1 gallon of water per person per day, non-perishable food, and pet supplies
  • medications, medical equipment, medical supplies, and a first aid kit
  • flashlights, battery powered weather radio, and extra batteries
  • a whistle to signal for help if trapped
  • cash and photo identification
Evacuation bag: Put together a bag of important items for all members of the family. This will help prepare you if you need to leave your home quickly.
  • Medical supplies: pack your medications, medical equipment, medical supplies, copies of prescriptions and doctor orders, insurance cards, medical ID cards, eyeglasses, hearing devices, and any other items that help you day-to-day.
  • Pets: if you pets, make sure you have enough food and supplies to bring with you and the pet.
  • Paperwork: pack your photo identification or driver’s license and contact information for providers and supporting friends and family.
  • Other supplies: pack clothing, toiletries, a cell phone, charging cords for electronic devices, and any necessary items to be away for a few days.
Evacuation plan: Know the routes you should take if you need to leave your home, also known as your local evacuation route(s).
  • Make a list of where you can go – shelters, family, and friend’s homes that are outside the evacuation zone.
  • Have a plan for how you will get to a safe place – using your vehicle or having someone transport you.
  • Make sure your vehicle has fuel before the storm arrives and it is in good working condition.
  • If you have a support or service animal, make sure you are able to travel with the pet.

Step 2: If you are evacuated

If your area has been asked to evacuate, it is important to leave calmly and quickly. Alerts about an evacuation in your area may be announced:
  • Through a Wireless Emergency Alert sent to your mobile phone – make sure your phone has Wireless Emergency Alerts enabled in your settings.
  • In the news by local radio and TV news stations.
  • On the ReadyNC websitemobile appTwitter @NCEmergency and Facebook.
  • On your local town and county’s website and social media accounts.
  • By your local town or county's alert system using phone, text, and/or email messaging.  

Before leaving your home, look over this list:
  • Pack your medications, medical devices, and medical supplies.
  • Grab your evacuation bag and any emergency kit items that you may need.
  • Unplug your electronics and turn off your utilities if local authorities have asked you to.
  • If you are able to, board up your windows, clear your drains and gutters, and move outdoor objects to inside can help reduce damage to your home.
  • Visit the NC Department of Public Safety website for a list of shelters near you.
  • Visit for traffic conditions statewide. Real-time traffic, weather and preparedness information is also available via the ReadyNC mobile app, available for free for iPhones and Android devices.  

Step 3: Stay informed

Make sure you have a way to receive warnings.  

Helpful resources

Updated on February 20, 2020​ to include current and updated information. 
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