After the Disaster

After a storm or disaster, you will need to be aware of several things.  Since every disaster is unique, and every damage scenario is different, we cannot list everything on this one web site.  However, there are some specific things you will need to know and keep in mind.  If you do have a situation which is not covered here, please contact your local emergency management officials.

Sample News Release


DATELINE – Residents of (town/county) are cautioned not to drink the public water without purifying it first.  (The sewer lines have broken) or (The water processing plant has lost power for a short time) causing the water treatment process to be shut down.  Until the system has been checked for contamination, the water is unsafe to drink.

There are two ways to clean your water.   The first method, boiling, is the safest way to purify water.  Bring water to a rolling boil for three to five minutes.  Keep in mind that some of the water will evaporate, so boil more than is needed.  Let the water cool before drinking it.   To improve the boiled water taste, add oxygen to it by pouring it back and forth between two clean containers.

The second way to purify water is to use regular household bleach.  Scented and “Colorsafe” bleaches or bleaches with added cleaners are toxic and should not be used!!!  Add 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water and let stand for 30 minutes.  If the water does not have a slight bleach odor, repeat the dosage and let stand another 15 minutes.

These purification methods will work to decontaminate water for drinking, washing, and cooking.  Please use them before drinking any public water that might be contaminated.

Insurance and Contractor Tips for Rebuilding

Take the following steps to ensure effective repairs on your damaged property:

  • Adjusters are required to properly identify themselves and, if requested, show you the license issued by the NC Department of Insurance.
  • If you feel the settlement offered by your insurer is not fair or complete, contact the company to provide additional information to support your claim.
  • You are not required to use the contractor the insurance company recommends.
  • You should use reliable, licensed contractors.
  • Get a written estimate and read the fine print. Deal with a local contractor if possible.
  • You should ask for references.
  • Make sure the contractor carries general liability insurance and workers� compensation.
  • Obtain a complete contract that states the tasks to be performed and all associated costs including, if applicable, costs for permits or licenses.
  • Ask for a written guarantee stating who is responsible for equipment and materials.
  • Avoid on-the-spot cash payments. The safest route is to write a check made out to the contracting company.
  • If you need to cancel a contract, cancellation should be done within three business days of signing. Be sure to follow the agreements stated in the cancellation clauses and send the notification by registered mail.
  • If excavation work is being performed, make sure a qualified inspector approves the work before it is hidden from view.
  • If you want to confirm that a public adjuster is licensed or have questions about the adjuster�s actions, you can call the Agent Services Division of the NC Department of Insurance at 919-733-4787.
  • If you have problems with a contractor or have been the victim of fraud, you are urged to contact your local Better Business Bureau or the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section at 919-716-6000.
  • You can call 1-800-546-5664, the Consumer Services Division of the NC Department of Insurance, with questions or concerns about your insurance coverage.

Recovery Information

Critical Telephone Numbers
American Red Cross (Burlington) 336-226-4906
Salvation Army (Burlington) 336-228-0184
Alamance County Fire Marshal’s Office 336-227-1365
Emergency Management (Local) 336-227-1365
Emergency Management (Central Branch) 919-575-4122
Emergency Management (State) 919-733-3867


Sheriff’s Department 336-570-6300
Building Inspectors – Alamance County 336-228-1312
Building Inspectors – Burlington 336-222-5080
Building Inspectors – Mebane 919-563-5901
Building Inspectors – Graham 336-570-6705
Alamance County Health Department 336-227-0101
NC Forest Service (Alamance County Office) 336-376-3596
Duke Power 336-538-0015
Piedmont Natural Gas 336-226-7335 or 336-227-5533
Public Service Gas 919-563-3521
Bellsouth Repair Service 611
Centurylink Telephone 919-563-0500
Alamance County Manager’s Office 336-228-1312
City Halls
Burlington 336-222-5000
Haw River 336-578-0784
Graham 336-570-6700
Mebane 919-563-5901
Elon College 336-584-0282
Green Level 336-578-3443
Alamance 336-226-0033
Gibsonville 336-449-4144
Public Works
Burlington 336-222-5005
Haw River 336-578-5238
Graham 336-570-6709
Mebane 919-563-5901
Elon College 336-584-9600
Gibsonville 336-449-4144



Here’s a checklist of documents you will need to replace if they have been destroyed, and who to contact for information on the replacement process.

Driver’s License NC Department of Motor Vehicles
Bank Books Your bank, as soon as possible
Insurance Policies Your insurance agent
Military Discharge Papers Local Veteran’s Administration
Passports Local Passport Office
Birth, Death, or Marriage Certificates State Bureau of Records, in State Where Birth, Death, or Marriage took place
Divorce Papers Circuit Court where decree was issued
Social Security or Medicare Cards Local Social Security office
Credit Cards The issuing companies as soon as possible
Titles to deeds Register of Deeds
Stocks and Bonds Issuing company or your broker
Wills Your Attorney
Medical Records Your Doctor
Warranties Issuing Company
Income Tax Refunds State and Federal Revenue Service where return was filed
Auto Registration Cards NC Department of Motor Vehicle
Citizenship Papers The US Immigration and Naturalization Service
Prepaid Burial Contracts Issuing Company
Animal Registration Papers Society of Registry