Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1st and New Bern Fire Rescue is urging residents to use the month of May to get prepared in case of a storm. A recent survey by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) indicates nearly 60 percent of American adults have not practiced what to do in a disaster. Furthermore, the survey found that only 39 percent of American adults have developed an emergency plan for themselves or their families.
FEMA’s website, www.Ready.gov, has a comprehensive list of items to help families prepare for hurricane season and other disasters:
– Water: one gallon water per person per day for at least three days
– Food: at least at three day supply of non-perishable food & a can opener & paper plates, plastic utensils, cups, & paper towels
– Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio & extra batteries for both
– Flashlights & extra batteries
– First aid kit
– Prescription medications & glasses
– Children’s needs: diapers, infant formula, baby bottles, blankets, medications
– Fire extinguisher
– Cell phone & any other computer accessories with their chargers, inverters or a solar charger
– Local maps
– Trash bags, sanitary wipes, basic tools
Being prepared for disaster also means identifying an evacuation route and how you’ll communicate with family should you get separated. Part of your advance planning should include identifying an out-of-town contact whom your family can call to let them know you’re safe. Additionally, teach children how to call 911 for help.
Another FEMA recommendation for disaster preparation is subscribing to an emergency alert system. The City of New Bern implemented its CodeRED system four years ago, which alerts subscribers to emergencies in the community. It’s free for residents and you can sign up on the city website or download the CodeRED app to your smartphone. On the City’s website, go to Departments, then Fire Rescue Department, and then click on Web Links under the Misc tab.
“Taking a little time now to prepare will help our community in the long run,” said New Bern Fire Rescue Interim Chief Bobby Boyd. “Of course, we all hope we won’t need to use our disaster kits, but planning ahead builds community resilience and will help us recover more quickly when disaster strikes.”
Submitted by: Colleen Roberts, Public Information Officer, City of New Bern