Making sure your jurisdiction is ready for a natural disaster is critical to minimizing the damage caused by a disaster and maximizing your response. Please keep in mind these simple tips to prepare for the unexpected.
Citizens First: Post reminders on your website of the resources available for citizens of all ages to prepare for emergencies. If you already have reminders, check the links to make sure they are working. Consider highlighting these great resources in one of your upcoming citizen communications: Readync.org; Ready.gov/kids; Ready.gov/business
Inter-governmental Assistance: Make sure your entity is part of the Mutual Aid network. Make sure your entity is part of the N.C. Water Warn network.
Risk Management: The three basic tenets of risk management are to avoid the risk of a loss, transfer the risk of loss, and for risks that cannot be avoided or transferred, minimize the potential loss. The NCLM and provide risk management coverage for cities and related entities.
Your emergency plan: Make sure your current officials and staff are familiar with and trained to your existing emergency plan. Make sure too that they understand how the municipal and county plans work together to protect the region. It’s important for everyone to have a good handle on everybody’s roles and responsibilities – you have to move fast in an emergency, and people need to know what they should do – or not do!
Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP): Guarantee that an emergency event will not shut down your local government. VC3’s Disaster Recovery solution ensures the systems critical to your government’s daily operations will continue even when disaster strikes. From nightly replication of your data to an offsite facility, to having your key staff fully functional at a remote site in the event of a disaster, VC3 can provide your government with the same tools used by the League and the Association. Please contact VC3 via phone or web for more information: Dale Graver at 800-787-1160 or www.VC3.com
Know your authority in the event of a State of Emergency: ReadyNCLocal.org wants to remind you of your authority to impose emergency declarations, if necessary. The statute(s) (G.S. 14-288.1) is set forth below. Norma Houston of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government has set forth an excellent article on state of emergency declarations at: http://sogweb.sog.unc.edu/blogs/localgovt/?p=5212.
If your municipality decides to declare a State of Emergency, please make sure that message is communicated to your citizens by every means feasible (newspapers and news outlets, municipal website, radio, TV, email notifications, reverse 911, social media, etc.). It’s also important that the state of emergency declaration clearly set forth the prohibitions and restrictions that are being put in place.
North Carolina Emergency Management Act