Brunswick County reminds public to stay vigilant this September during National Preparedness Month
BOLIVIA, N.C. – In the blink of an eye, an emergency turned disaster can steal the life you have built. A hurricane could flood your home and vehicle, a power outage could spoil your food, or a tornado could destroy your property. Without the proper precautions in place, you could lose everything when a disaster strikes.
September is National Preparedness Month, and Brunswick County is encouraging the public to take the necessary steps to prepare for emergencies. Organized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), this year’s theme is A Lasting Legacy: The life you’ve built is worth protecting. Prepare for disasters to create a lasting legacy for you and your family.
“Every member of our community plays a significant role in safeguarding the future of Brunswick County,” Chairman Randy Thompson said. “We want to encourage you and your loved ones to start the preparedness process in your household and build your plan over this next month.”
The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution recognizing this year’s National Preparedness Month on Sept. 6, 2022. A few weeks prior, the commissioners completed the inaugural Emergency Preparedness Training for elected officials organized by the NC Association of County Commissioners and part of Brunswick County Commissioner and NCACC Past President Frank Williams’ 100 Counties Prepared presidential initiative.
Brunswick County is vulnerable to a wide range of natural hazards, including hurricanes and tropical storms, flooding, tornadoes, ice storms, and wildfires. These hazards threaten the lives of residents, their families, and their legacies, and have the potential to damage public and private property, disrupt the local economy, and impact the overall quality of life of those who live here.
The greatest weather hazard the Cape Fear Region faces is hurricanes and their associated impacts including wind, storm surges, and flooding. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), atmospheric and oceanic conditions still favor an above-normal hurricane season. With peak Atlantic Hurricane season taking place from mid-August to late October, Brunswick County invites members of the community to stay vigilant in their preparedness efforts.
Brunswick County is still recovering from the devastation caused by multiple large tropical storms and hurricanes from the last few years—many of which were ranked as lower category storms when they made landfall in Brunswick County including Hurricane Isaias in 2020 (Category 1), Hurricane Dorian in 2019 (Category 1 (upon landfall in North Carolina)), Hurricane Florence in 2018 (Category 1), and Hurricane Matthew in 2016 (Category 1).
While the threat from hazardous events may never be fully eliminated, there is much we can do to lessen potential impacts to our community and our residents. By preparing ourselves, our homes, and our properties, we can minimize the effects caused by these hazards and prevent emergencies from resulting in disasters.
Here are some ways you can prepare with Brunswick County and protect your legacy during this National Preparedness Month:
- Create an evacuation plan. When planning where to evacuate, we recommend finding a place to stay in advance that is outside of typical affected areas and that is not in flood-prone areas, typically inland. Ready offers free resources to learn more about the disasters you may face and what to consider when planning for them.
- Prepare an emergency kit. An emergency kit is vital for your survival in situations where help might not be easily accessible due to power outages, flooding, and road damage. When preparing an emergency kit, it is recommended to prepare three to seven days-worth of non-perishable food and water for each member of the family and pets. North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Brunswick County has prepared a hurricane cookbook to help individuals and families prepare meals in advance in case of an emergency.
- Access local resources. Contact your local fire department to find out if they may have programs that provide fire or carbon monoxide detectors. Check online for free or discounted CPR courses offered near you.
- Stay informed. During an emergency, stay tuned to reliable local media outlets and Brunswick County on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Nextdoor for continuous updates. You can also subscribe to receive email updates from the County to stay updated on media releases and important announcements.
- Subscribe to emergency alerts. Residents and visitors can sign up for text and email alerts from CodeRED, Brunswick County’s emergency alert center.
- Sign up for the Special Needs Registry. Residents are strongly encouraged to sign up for the Brunswick County Special Needs Registry if they have additional needs in functional areas. These functional needs may include but are not limited to maintaining independence, communication, transportation, supervision, and medical care.
- Check your insurance. Before an emergency strikes, review your insurance policies to ensure your property is covered for any flooding or natural disasters that could occur.
- Gather important documents. Gather all your important documents and information in an easily accessible place in case of an emergency so that you can take it with you when evacuating.
- Know who to call. Make a list of all important phone numbers you’ll need in an emergency. We encourage you to use phones sparingly and have portable chargers on hand in case of power outages.
- Prepare your home. Make sure everyone in your household knows how to turn off the electricity, gas, and water in case of emergency. Start gathering materials to secure your home, especially doors, garages, and windows, from damage that could be caused by wind and debris.
Learn more about National Preparedness Month at Ready.gov/September.
For media inquiries, contact the Communications Director at 910.253.2995 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.