Health Department Articles

Be Prepared. Be Aware!

As peak hurricane season nears, Emergency Preparedness Coordinators with the Montgomery County Health Department are reminding residents that now is the time to plan and prepare for emergencies and disasters.

“Natural and man-made emergencies are unpredictable, but residents can take steps now to plan how they will respond when disasters strike,” said Jessica Morrell, Emergency Preparedness planner with the Montgomery County Health Department and OnTarget Preparedness. “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.”

The Montgomery County Health Department was awarded grant funding to assemble and distribute emergency kits to 66 homebound seniors, which were delivered earlier this year in July.  These kits contained necessary items to prepare for inclement weather or other concerns including things such as flashlights, first aid kits, non-electric can opener, duct tape, a whistle to signal in emergencies hand sanitizer, and an emergency survival food kit.  The funds granted to the Health Department provided the capacity to produce a very limited number of kits, but having kits in place in every home is strongly encouraged for all families.  “Having the kit in place will help you during the emergency and make the recovery process a bit easier,” said Morrell.  “For example, including copies of insurance policies in your kit will enable you to more quickly process claims.  Most of the items needed for the kit can be found around your house.”  In addition to items previously mentioned, families should include approximately one gallon of water (per person in the household), a non-perishable and canned food supply, cell phone with charger, anti-bacterial hand wipes or gel, wrench or pliers to turn off water, prescription medications, sanitary supplies such as toothbrushes and soap, extra house and car keys, important documents, and entertainment such as books, games or cards.

Along with the emergency kit, is vital for residents, schools and business owners to have an emergency plan and to practice it routinely with all household members and staff.  The plan should include details about where to meet, how to get in touch with one another, evacuation plans, what to do with pets, and how to notify employees after an emergency.

Governor Pat McCrory proclaimed September as Emergency Preparedness Month which coincides with National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The designation is made each September to encourage Americans to prepare for emergencies. 

For more emergency preparedness information, contact the Montgomery County Health Department at (910) 572-1393, visit, or download the free ReadyNC mobile app.