Prepare For An Emergency

How to Prepare

Onslow County is committed to helping its citizens prepare and plan for all emergency situations. We have provided information on how to create an emergency plan to keep you and your family safe.

Step 1: Know your Hazards

The first step to emergency preparedness is being informed. Most communities across the United States will be impacted by several different types of hazards. Visit the Local Hazards page for information on the different types of natural occurrences that could affect our county. Each page offers insights into that specific hazard, information like: what causes the hazard, how it is classified or monitored, and safety and preparedness tips that are specific to it. 

Step 2: Make a Plan

It is important for your family to have a plan prior to any hazard striking. What will your family and pets do when a hazard strikes?

  1. Communications
    • How will you communicate if you are not together? Develop a family communication plan using the FEMA Family Communication Plan (PDF) document. Also consider having an out-of-state contact on your list. 
  2. Pets
    • Do you own pets? You will also want to consider developing a plan for them. You will want to include things like food, toys, medications, leashes, bowls for water, and a kennel or carrier. The FEMA Pet Owner Emergency Preparedness (PDF) document provides information on how to initialize making an emergency pet plan.Visit our Pet Safety Page for helpful tips and guidance to plan for your furry family members. 
  3. Utilities
    •  Do you know how to turn off your Water? Gas? Electricity? Learn how to manage these before an event occurs. NEVER attempt to turn gas back on by yourself, A trained experts from the gas company should be contacted. 
  4. Create a Home Inventory
    • Make a list of all of your personal property and belongings. Take pictures or make a video of both the inside and outside of your home. Keep your inventory in a safe deposit box, safe place outside the home or email it to yourself for digital storage. 
    • Learn more about creating a home inventory and get a downloadable inventory checklist at the NC Department of Insurance site: HurriClaims: Home Inventory
  5. Documents
    • Have copies of important documents stored in a safe place. This could be with a family member who is not in the hazard area, in cloud storage as a digital file, or in a safe deposit box. You can also make copies that you keep in your emergency kit that will evacuate with you. These include documents such as:
      • Birth Certificates / Adoption Papers
      • Marriage / Divorce Papers
      • Social Security Cards
      • Passports / Green cards
      • Wills
      • Insurance Policy Documents ( home, auto, life, etc..)
      • Bank Statements
  6. Special Populations
  7. Additional Planning Documents
Learn more about making an emergency plan at A Plan

Step 3: Sheltering & Evacuating

Onslow County may open shelters should an emergency occur. The type of emergency and areas affected will determining if and how many shelters are opened. Onslow County has 6 primary emergency shelters. 

Learn more about shelters and where they are located by visiting the Sheltering & Evacuating page. 

Step 4: Build an Emergency Kit

Having a disaster supply kit ready is a critical part of being prepared for emergencies. The kit is a simple collection of basic items you may need during and after an emergency situation. The best time to build the kit is well before an emergency occurs. Learn more about building and maintaining you kit by visiting the Emergency Supply Kit page.