Family Emergency Preparedness for Storms Like Joaquin


This graphic from shows the intensity of Joaquin as of 5 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

Image via The Weather Channel

“Natural and man-made emergencies are unpredictable, but residents can take steps now to plan how they will respond when disasters strike,” says Alyson Best, Guilford County Division of Health and County Emergency Management’s public health preparedness manager. “Take time now to make a family emergency plan, practice that plan and put together an emergency supplies kit. The more prepared you are before disaster strikes, the more prepared you are to recover from it. Be aware of the risks, prepare for the worst but hope for the best.”

This advice is pertinent as the state prepares for a weekend of potentially hazardous weather as Hurricane Joaquin makes its way toward the North Carolina Coast. After proclaiming September as Emergency Preparedness Month, which coincided with National Preparedness Month, Governor Pat McCrory today declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm. An ABC 11 Eyewitness News tweet quoted Governor McCrory as saying “I can't stress enough the possibility of deadly flooding, comparing current conditions to Hurricane Floyd” during a press conference earlier today.

While the storm is currently a category 4, the probability of it making landfall has been diminishing according to NOAA National Hurricane Center and The Weather Channel reports.

Whether or not it makes landfall, high amounts of rain, flooding and high winds are predicted to cause problems throughout the state. Best suggests families have an emergency supplies kit at the ready for weather situations such as the one predicted for this weekend. Emergency preparedness guidance recommends a three-day supply of food, water and medicines as well as provisions for household pets.

Basic items that should be in the emergency kit include:

  • 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 – know where the to find the shut off valve
  • Anti-bacterial hand wipes or gel
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off water
  • Blanket or sleeping bag – 1 per person
  • Prescription medications, glasses and hearing aids
  • 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

Guilford County residents are advised to sign up for GC’s GEANI Guilford Emergency alert notification information. Folks can register for GEANI and get practical information at

The Local Chapter of American Red Cross has excellent reference guides. For more emergency preparedness information visit or download the free ReadyNC mobile app.

Remember, the first 72 after any emergency is critical for a rapid recovery. 

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About This Blog

Myra Wright has been the editor of Piedmont Parent since 2007 and is mom to three kids, ages 16, 13 and 8. Here, she blogs about parenting as well as news and events for Piedmont Triad parents.

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