Preparedness Kit

72-Hour Kits

Three-Day Emergency Kits

This is a sample press release for a hurricane, which includes good information on preparing a three-day emergency kit.  The American Red Cross has a much more complete list available.

DATELINE – There is still time for you to assemble your three-day emergency kits in case you are cut off from outside help.  Most people already have these items around the house, and it is a matter of assembling them now before an evacuation order is issued.

Start with an easy-to-carry, water-tight container – a large plastic trash can will do, or line a sturdy cardboard box with a couple of trash bags.  Next, gather up the following items and place them in your kit:


  • Water – 1 Gallon per person per day (a week’s supply of water is preferable)
  • Water purification kit or bleach
  • First Aid Kit and first aid book
  • Pre-cooked, non-perishable foods, such as canned meats, granola bars, instant soup and cereals, etc.
  • Baby supplies: formula, bottle, pacifier, soap, baby powder, clothing, blankets, baby wipes, disposable diapers, canned food and juices
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Anti-bacterial hand wipes or gel
  • Blanket or sleeping bag per person
  • Portable radio or portable TV; extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Essential medications
  • Extra pair of eyeglasses
  • Extra house and car keys
  • Fire extinguisher – ABC type
  • Food, water, leash, and carrier for pets
  • Cash and change
  • Seasonal change of clothing, including sturdy shoes
  • Duct Tape and plastic sheeting (to seal home in case of chemical or biological attack)

Sanitation Supplies

  • Large plastic bag for waste, tarps, and rain ponchos
  • Large trash cans
  • Bar soap and liquid detergent
  • Shampoo
  • Toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • Feminine hygiene supplies
  • Toilet paper
  • Household bleach
  • Rubber gloves

Stocking up now on emergency supplies can add to your family’s safety and comfort during and after a disaster.  Store enough supplies for at least three days, preferably seven days, in one place.

Safe Areas and Shelters

Identifying Safe Areas

At Home – Seek shelter on the lowest possible floor or in the basement.  Under the stairs or in a bathroom or closet are good shelter spots.  Stay away from windows.  Don’t bother with the windows!   Crouch on the floor in an egg position.

At Work – Seek shelter on the lowest possible floor or basement, if there is a basement.  Stairwells, bathrooms, and closets are good spots.  As a last resort, crawl under your desk.

At the Mall – Seek shelter against an interior wall.  An enclosed hallway or fire exit leading away from the main hall concourse is a good spot.  Stay away from skylights and large open areas.

At School – Seek shelter in interior hallways, small closets, and bathrooms.  Stay away from windows.  Get out of mobile classrooms.  Stay out of gymnasiums, auditoriums, and other large rooms with a large expanse of roof.  Bus drivers should be alert for bad weather on their routes.

Shelters at Home

Knowing where to go in your home when a tornado or other strong storm threatens can be the difference between your surviving or becoming a statistic.  The safest place to be during a tornado is in a below-ground shelter.

If you don’t have a below-ground shelter, go to an inside room on the lowest level of the home, away from windows and exterior walls. (The example below was provided by Texas Tech University and FEMA, and is available on the FEMA web site. Shaded areas are best available tornado shelters.)


Identified Shelters for Alamance County

Baptist Temple (2224 S Anthony Ct, Burlington)
Clover Garden School (2454 Altamahaw Union Ridge Rd, Burlington)
Fairchild Community Center (827 S Graham Hopedale Rd, Burlington)
First Church of the Nazarene (802 Chapel Hill Rd, Burlington)
Grove Park Baptist Church (108 Trail One, Burlington)
Mayco Bigelow Center (849 Sharpe Rd, Burlington)
St. Marks Church (1230 St Marks Church Rd, Burlington)
YMCA (1346 S Main St, Burlington)
Graham Recreation Center (311 College St, Graham)
Swepsonville Baptist Church (2754 Darrell Newton Dr, Graham)
Lamb’s Chapel (415 Roxboro Rd., Haw River)
Mebane Arts Center (622 Corregidor St., Mebane)

Loss Prevention Tips

The following steps should be taken by every homeowner before a disaster to assure a speedy, hassle-free recovery after a loss:

Home Coverage and Preparedness Tips

  • Check with your insurance agent to assure adequate coverage is provided by your homeowners’ insurance policy. Remember to notify agents of any improvements or additions to the home.
  • If your homeowners’ insurance policy does not have wind/hail coverage, you will need to purchase separate coverage, which has a 15-day waiting period. Consult your insurance agent.
  • Check with your insurance agent to determine if you need flood insurance. Flood insurance is not part of most homeowners’, mobile home or rental insurance policies. You will need to purchase separate coverage, which has a 30-day waiting period.
  • Investigate purchasing replacement-cost coverage for your home and its contents. This option provides for the rebuilding or replacement of damaged property and belongings at current costs, rather than depreciated values.
  • Check your policy for “loss of use” coverage. If you are required to seek temporary shelter due to a covered loss, such as a tornado, many policies will cover these expenses up to a certain amount. If your home is uninhabitable because of physical damage, most homeowners’ policies will pay additional living expenses while your property is being repaired. Lack of power and water is not considered physical damage and, therefore, additional living expenses will not be covered.
  • Consider constructing an underground or in-home shelter. (See Shelter Information Sheet.)

A Home Inventory Will Assist In Settling Claims

  • It is important that you videotape, photograph or compile a written inventory of your home and belongings.
  • Keep the inventory off-premises in a safety deposit box or with an out-of-the area contact. The inventory will provide a record for you and the insurance company should a loss occur.
  • Go through each room of your home and list every item, including the purchase date, price, model and serial numbers, if applicable. Don’t forget closets, the garage and the basement.
  • Include the appraised value of antiques, jewelry and other costly possessions. Attach professional, written appraisals when necessary.
  • Slowly pan the camera around the room in order to capture each item on film.
  • Obtain close-ups of expensive items, such as jewelry, fine art, antiques, stamp collections, etc.
  • Consider grouping items for easier inventory.
  • Narrate the video by noting purchase cost and date, model and serial numbers on appliances and other appropriate items.
  • Update your inventory every two-to-three years.

Automobile Coverage and Preparedness Tips

  • If damaged by windstorms or hail, most vehicles are protected under the “other than collision” (comprehensive) portion of an automobile insurance policy. Check with your insurance agent to be certain of your automobile coverage.
  • If severe weather threatens, move vehicles to covered area to prevent damage from high winds, flying debris and hail.

After the Loss Insurance Tips

  • Contact your insurance agent or company representative as soon as possible and ask for instructions on what to do until your adjuster arrives.
  • Begin preparing an inventory of personal property damaged or destroyed, and take pictures of the damaged property.
  • Protect your property from further damage. Your reasonable expenses to protect your property are part of the loss and are generally reimbursed by insurance companies. Keep all receipts.
  • Do not have permanent repairs made until your insurance company has inspected the property and you have reached an agreement on cost of repairs.
  • Use reliable, licensed contractors for repairs.  Do not pay in cash.

Flood Insurance

Flood Insurance, Disaster Assistance and You

“Will disaster assistance be available if my home or business is flooded?”

“How expensive is flood insurance?”

If you have questions about whether or not you need flood insurance, consider the following:

  • Most forms of federal disaster assistance, including FEMA’s Temporary Housing and Individual and Family Grant Programs, are only offered if the President declares a major disaster.
  • 90 percent of all disasters are not presidentially declared.
  • The most typical form of federal disaster assistance is a Small Business Administration loan that must be paid back with interest. The average duration and loan payment for a disaster home loan is 18.5 years and $140 a month.
  • To qualify for home repair assistance, your home must have relatively minor damages that can be repaired quickly. No rental assistance is available unless your home has been destroyed or significantly damaged.
  • The average Individual and Family Grant is less than $2,500.
  • Floods are the most common natural disaster with 80 percent of all presidentially declared disasters involving floods.
  • Buildings in flood hazard areas have a 26 percent chance of being flooded during a 30-year mortgage.
  • The average premium for a National Flood Insurance Program policy in North Carolina is $318.00.
  • Homeowners, business owners, and renters can all purchase flood insurance as long as their community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. Even if a disaster is not declared by the President, flood insurance claims are paid.
  • When you carry a flood insurance policy and file a flood insurance claim, usually you get a partial payment immediately.
  • Flood insurance reimburses you for all covered losses. Disaster aid is limited to replacing essential items only. Homeowners can get up to $250,000 of coverage and businesses up to $500,000. Separate contents coverage also is available.
  1. Maintaining a flood insurance policy is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and reduce the cost of flood disasters.

Flood Insurance Facts

  • Flooding is not covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.
  • Flood insurance is available in most North Carolina communities. More than 300 communities participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
  • Any walled and roofed building in an NFIP-participating community is eligible, whether or not the building is located in a floodplain. Manufactured homes installed on a permanent site and anchored also can be insured.
  • Any licensed property casualty insurance agent or broker can sell the Standard Flood Insurance Policy.
  • There is a 30-day waiting period after a policy is purchased before coverage goes into effect. However, if a policy is required by a lender as a condition for obtaining a mortgage, then the coverage takes effect at closing.
  • Two types of coverage are available:

1. Structural coverage on walls, floors, insulation, furnace, and items permanently attached to the structure;

2. Contents coverage for such items as furniture, appliance and other household goods.  This coverage must be purchased separately from structural coverage.

Sample Storm Warning

DATELINE – A (tropical storm / hurricane) near (location) may threaten North Carolina (time).  Hurricanes are dangerous regardless of their size and can cause devastation through massive flooding and wind damage, even if they do not pass over land.  North Carolinians should be prepared in case the storm threatens the coast.

North Carolina residents should listen to the local news for the latest advisories from the National Weather Service, the National Hurricane Center (NHC), as well as state and local emergency management officials.   Now is the time for residents to prepare their homes and gather supplies.

The North Carolina Emergency Management Division urges residents to do the following:

Determine if you are in a storm-surge zone:  During a Hurricane Watch, residents living in storm-surge zones may be ordered to evacuate.  Evacuation zones will be identified by local emergency managers through the news media.  You also should know if your home is located in a flood plain.  These areas suffer excessively from heavy rains associated with hurricanes.  Since flooding causes most hurricane-related deaths, flood plains are generally among the first areas requiring evacuation.  If you do not know the safe escape routes in your area, call the local emergency management office.

Prepare to evacuate if ordered to do so:  Residents living in storm-surge zones, and those living in mobile homes that are directly in the storm’s path, must plan for their evacuation now.  If evacuations are called for, public shelters will be set up for evacuees.  However, it might be more comfortable for those who evacuate to stay at a hotel or friend’s home that is out of the storm’s path.  These arrangements must be made now since hotels fill up quickly and out-of-county evacuations take time.

Register for Special Care:   Residents needing transportation or medical care during an evacuation should contact their local emergency management office, if they have not already done so.   Special needs shelters require advance registration.  County Emergency Management officials are listed in your phone book under county government.

Consider the Safety of Pets:   Except for service animals, health regulations do not allow pets in public shelters.  Residents should plan to board pets with their veterinarian, a kennel, or an identified pet shelter.  Residents should attach identification and rabies tags to their pets’ collars.

Prepare an Emergency Kit:   To prepare for a hurricane or any disaster, it is best to have a three-day emergency kit available, since it may take that long for rescue workers to reach your area.  For more information on preparing an emergency kit, click here.

Fuel Cars, Obtain cash, and Secure Important Documents:  Residents should fill their cars with gasoline and have enough cash on hand to last a week in case they are ordered to evacuate.  During power-outages, gas stations and ATM machines do not work.  It is also important to secure original copies of documents in a waterproof container in case of flooding.

Obtain Supplies to protect the home:   If residents are ordered to evacuate, there will be little time to protect their homes from the storm.  Supplies, such as lumber and shutters, should be purchased now, and window casing pre-drilled.  All outdoor objects, including trash cans and patio furniture, should be brought indoors or tied down.  Homeowners should clear their property of all debris that could damage buildings in strong winds.  Finally, cars should be stored in the garage.

Residents who do not live in designated storm-surge zones should prepare
shelter inside their homes:
   Residents who live well inland of storm surge zones may not have to evacuate.   However, the should protect their homes and gather enough supplies to last themselves and their families for three days after the storm makes landfall.

Secure Outdoor Property and Homes:   While some areas may not be in the direct path of the storm, property in those areas could sustain major damage due to high winds and heavy rains.  It is recommended that all nearby residents protect their homes by boarding the windows and clearing the yard of loose branches and other debris.

Gather Supplies:  This may be a final opportunity to gather supplies from local grocery stores.  All residents should have an emergency kit with bottled water, precooked nonperishable foods, flash lights, a battery powered radio and paper goods.  It is also important to keep ice on hand in case the power fails.  Candles are not recommended for safety reasons.