Ready NHC: Community

Disasters can happen anytime, anywhere, and when disaster strikes, you may not have much time to respond. Depending on the disaster – a hurricane, winter storm, or hazardous material spill – you could be confined to your home without water and electricity for days, or you may be asked to evacuate the area.

Before, during, and after a disaster, local officials and relief volunteers will be working hard to keep people safe. However, they may not be able to reach everyone quickly, so it is important to plan ahead before disaster strikes. Below are some steps you can take to make sure you are prepared for an emergency: 

Create an emergency plan,including plans for evacuation or sheltering in place.

  • Identify your flood zone. If you are at risk for flash flooding, watch for warning signs such as heavy rain.
  • Become familiar with your evacuation zone, evacuation routes, and shelter locations.
  • If you have special medical or functional needs that would place you at higher risk during an emergency event, you are strongly encouraged to sign up for the Special Needs Registry. 
  • Protect your property – keep drains and gutters clear, install check valves in plumbing to prevent backups, consider hurricane shutters, and review insurance policies.
  • If you have flood insurance, check your policy to see if loss avoidance measures are covered. National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies cover the cost of loss avoidance measures, like sandbags and water pumps, to protect your insured property. Keep copies of all receipts and a record of the time spent performing the work to submit to your flood insurance adjuster for reimbursement. Learn more about Flood Loss Avoidance on FEMA’s website.

Build an emergency supply kit with enough supplies for three to seven days for each household member, including pets.

Stay informed before, during, and after an emergency event.

Visit and for more information on emergency preparedness.

Emergency Management & 911: 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 115 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-6900 • Fax 910-798-6904