As part of the event, Buncombe Emergency Management will conduct a test of their emergency notification system. At approximately 1 p.m. on March 9 they will place a call to residential and business landlines with a recorded message requesting everyone sign up for emergency messages by texting “BCAlert” to 888777 on their cell phones. In the case of a true emergency, this is one of the ways that County Emergency Management could notify residents and provide instructions and other crucial information. Residents can go to www.nixle.com to sign up on landlines or for email notifications.
As a part of the preparedness event, Buncombe County is encouraging individuals, families, workplaces, schools and organizations to take these simple actions to be prepared:
- Text BCAlert to 888777 to sign up for emergency alerts for our community. In the event of a weather related emergency or other hazard or emergency, Buncombe County would be able to alert those that sign up with instructions and/or warnings.
- Develop an emergency communication plan for your family. This will help you be in touch if a disaster strikes and family members are in different locations.
- Collect important documents and keep them in a safe place. This will help you evacuate without delay and get back on track after the disaster passes.
- Gather emergency supplies. Pack a “go bag” to evacuate quickly, and have supplies in the home in case water and power are unavailable.
Buncombe County Emergency Management will be joined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and area partners including Asheville City and Buncombe County Schools, A-B Tech, Ingles Markets, Biltmore Estate, City of Asheville and Mission Hospital in this emergency preparedness event. The event will help the students, employees and citizens become familiar with and practice appropriate safety steps.
A recent FEMA survey found that nearly 60 percent of American adults have not practiced what to do in a disaster by participating in a disaster drill or preparedness exercise at work, school, or home in the past year. Less than half of these adults have developed an emergency plan and discussed it with their household. With the number and severity of weather-related disasters on the rise, this drill is an opportunity for individuals, organizations, and communities to take action to prepare for specific hazards through group discussions, drills, and exercises.
This drill is part of a national “PrepareAthon” a grassroots campaign for action to increase individual and community preparedness and resilience through hazard-specific group discussions, drills, and exercises. Throughout the year, organizations, schools, individuals, and communities around the country practice for relevant, local hazards. The goals of the campaign are to increase the number of people who understand which disasters could happen in their community, know what to do to be safe and mitigate damage, take action to increase their preparedness, and participate in community resilience planning.
For more information about America’s PrepareAthon, please visit ready.gov/prepare. Join the Twitter discussion: @PrepareAthon.