Forsyth County urges residents to update emergency plans and kits: May 5-11 is North Carolina Hurricane Preparedness Week

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 9, 2024

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FORSTYH COUNTY — Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Emergency Management is encouraging residents to plan now for hurricanes by updating their emergency plans and supply kits. Hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.    

To encourage residents to prepare, the National Weather Service has declared May 5-11 as Hurricane Preparedness Week in North Carolina. 

“Protecting your family during a disaster such as a hurricane or severe weather means having an emergency plan and kit, which will provide for you and your loved ones for up to a week,” said August Vernon, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Emergency Management director. “Having a plan and being prepared improves your chances of surviving and recovering from the damage of severe weather.”

Creating an emergency plan is as easy as visiting  and downloading a plan template. Once you’ve written your emergency plan down, be sure your family takes the time to practice so everyone knows where to go and who to contact when disaster strikes. If you have an emergency plan, now is also the time to make sure all the information is up to date and talk to your neighbors about their plans, especially those who may need assistance such as senior citizens. 

Vernon also urges Forsyth County families and businesses to write down their plan and gather important documents, such as a copy of their driver’s license, insurance policies, medicals records, as well as bank account statements, and put them somewhere they can quickly access in case of emergency. Make sure to review and update homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policies to ensure they include coverage for damage from natural disasters and be sure to have flood insurance. 

When assembling an emergency supply kit be sure to include enough non-perishable food and water to last each family member three to seven days. Other essential items include:

  • First-aid kit 
  • Weather radio and batteries
  • Prescription medicines
  • Sleeping bag or blankets
  • Changes of clothes 
  • Hygiene items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and deodorant
  • Cash
  • Pet supplies including food, water, bedding, leashes, muzzle and vaccination records
  • Face masks and hand-sanitizer 

Forsyth County residents should stay informed during severe weather by using a battery-powered radio for weather and evacuation information and should know evacuation routes in their community. When asked to evacuate, residents should leave the area immediately. 

Once your plan and kit are up to date, take the time to mitigate damage to your home or business by taking some commonsense measures such as trimming trees, covering windows, securing loose outdoor items and more. 

“As part of your family emergency plan, include places you may be able to stay if you have to evacuate,” Vernon said. “If you’re asked to evacuate due to potential danger, do so. You’ll not only be protecting yourself but also emergency responders who may have to risk their lives to save you if you don’t evacuate.”

More information on overall emergency preparedness can be found online at or Please take a moment to ‘LIKE’ and ‘SHARE’ ReadyForsyth on Facebook and Twitter to receive the most recently updated information. Check daily for updated information and tips about preparedness.