Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricane Preparedness

Here’s What You Need To Know

NC 2-1-1:

All NC residents can dial 2-1-1 to reach a trained call specialist who can help them find shelters and learn evacuation routes, find help with storm clean-up, locate food, water, and ice, learn about volunteer needs, and more. The service is available 24/7 and is available in English and Spanish. Visit

Ready NC:

Visit for information on how to prepare for the storm. Download their free app to learn about weather conditions, traffic conditions, shelters, evacuations, and more.

Hurricane Resources:

Road Closures:

Power Outage Information:

Get important contact information for power companies across North Carolina.


  • DHHS: View open shelters
  • FEMA: Find shelters (once they have opened) by texting “SHELTER” and a zip code to 4FEMA (43362).
    For example, for the Wilmington, N.C. area, you would text to 43362: SHELTER 28401 (Wilmington’s zip code).
  • Red Cross Shelters: View a list at
  • Orange County: Residents can text OCStorm to 888-777 to get updates about shelters, road closures, and more.

Make a Disaster Kit:

Prepare for the storm by creating a Disaster Kit or making an emergency plan.

Store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept. In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.

Some items to prepare are:

  • Water: Buy plenty of bottled water to keep on hand or fill your own bottles. One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation.
  • Food: Stock up on nonperishable food such as canned foods, peanut butter, and granola bars. At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Be sure to have a manual can opener as well.
  • Food Prep: Keep Charcoal, Wood (for the fireplace), or Gas (for a gas grill) on hand in case of power outages.
  • Ice: Freeze a gallon jug of water to keep your refrigerator or freezer cool in the case of a power outage. Can’t find water jugs? Fill gallon ziplock bags and freeze them. Not only will your food stay cool, but you can drink the water too!
  • Clothing and Bedding: Remember that your air conditioner or furnace may be out if the power is out. Have appropriate clothing and bedding available for high or low temperatures.
  • First Aid Kit: Make sure your First Aid Kit is easily accessible and stocked.
  • Batteries: Stock up on batteries for radios and flashlights.
  • Flashlights and Matches
  • Radio: Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert.
  • Whistle: To signal for help.
  • Tools: Wrench or Pliers to turn off utilities
  • Medications: Have prescription medications available. Gather non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives as well.

Learn more about Disaster Kits via or via NC Disaster Information Center

Hurricane Checklist

Make sure you have everything you’ll need to survive for at least 3 days.  You may not have electricity, telephone or internet so make sure you have made alternative plans on how to stay in touch with family and friends. 

Here is a list of emergency supplies to keep in your Emergency Kit:

  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
  • Cash or traveler’s checks and change
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. .
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
  • Local maps
  • Photo ID
Taking Care of Your Pets

Evacuating amid the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for families with pets, requires planning to ensure health and safety. If possible, identify family members and or friends in a safe location who can provide you and your pets a place to shelter in the event you need to evacuate. Staying with a friend or family member in a safe location is preferable to relying on an emergency shelter during this time because services may be limited and social distancing will likely be harder to maintain.

Have a disaster kit ready in your home at all times. Some items that should be included:

  1. Food and water for at least 5 days for each pet. Also bring bowls and a manual can opener if you are packing canned pet food.
  2. Medications for at least 5 days and all medical records, including vaccination history. Keep these stored in a waterproof container. You may also consider storing them digitally on a flash drive or online.
  3. Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with tags for identification. Microchipping your pet is ideal as collars can be easily removed.
  4. Pack a pet first aid kit.
  5. Litter box with extra liter and a scoop.
  6. Sturdy leashes, harnesses and carriers to transport pets safely.
  7. Current photos of you with your pets and descriptions of your animals.
  8. Comfort items, which may include a pet bed or a special toy, to reduce stress.
  9. Written information about your pets feeding schedules, medical conditions and behavior issues along with the name and number of your veterinarian. This information can also be kept digitally.

Other useful items:

  • Masks
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic trash bags
  • Grooming items
  • Household bleach

Some helpful tips for the safety of your furry family members:

  1. If it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pet. Never assume that you will be allowed to bring your pet to an emergency shelter. Before a disaster hits, call your local office of emergency management to verify that there will be shelters in your area that take people and their pets. Keep in mind that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, emergency sheltering options may be limited. Have a list of hotels and motels that accept pets within a 100-mile radius of your home. Keep in mind that in a catastrophic event, local hotels will fill quickly and may not be available. Make arrangements with friends or relatives in advance to ensure that you and your pets are able to seek shelter in their homes if needed. If housing together is not an option, know the requirements of your kennel or veterinarian’s office for pet boarding. As a last resort, connect with your local animal shelter to determine if they will offer temporary boarding during the time of crisis. They may too be impacted by the disaster and unavailable to house animals.
  2. Have a plan in place for when you are out of town or cannot get home to your pet when a disaster strikes. Find a trusted neighbor, friend, or family member and give them a spare key. Ensure that they know your pet’s feeding and medication schedule, and if using a pet-sitting service, find out ahead of time if they will be able to help in the event of an emergency.
  3. If you stay home, do it safely. If your family and pets must wait out the weather event at home, identify a safe area of your home where you can all stay together. Close off or eliminate unsafe nooks and crannies where frightened cats may try to hide. Move dangerous items such as tools or toxic products that have been stored in the area. Bring your pets indoors as soon as local authorities say trouble is on the way. Keep dogs on leashes and cats in carriers, and make sure they are wearing identification. If you have a room you can designate as a “safe room,” put your emergency supplies in that room in advance, including your pet’s crate and supplies. Have any medications and a supply of pet food and water inside watertight containers, along with your other emergency supplies. If there is an open fireplace, vent, pet door, or similar opening in the house, close it off with plastic sheeting and strong tape. Listen to the radio periodically and do not come out until you know it’s safe.
  4. If the electricity goes out. If you’re forced to leave your home because you’ve lost electricity, take your pets with you.
Important Phone Numbers







  • Red Cross
  • Salvation Army