Skip to main content

Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness

Make a plan, build a kit, be informed

During an emergency, you may need to survive several days on your own. Having a plan for your family is key. Download a Family Safety Plan and talk with family members. Sign up for emergency notifications and know your community’s emergency plans. What would you do if basic services like water, power, gas, and phones were not working for several days or more? Being prepared means having enough food, water, and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. Stock your emergency kit with the checklist below or download a printable list.

Emergency supplies for a preparedness kit include:

  • At least 3-7 days supply of non-perishable food and water for people and pets
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Battery-powered radio or NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries
  • Battery-powered flashlights and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Water purifying supplies (chlorine or iodine tablets or unscented ordinary household bleach) visit www.Ready.gov for water purification instructions.

Additional Items

  • Personal hygiene supplies, baby supplies, sturdy shoes, waterproof gloves
  • Medications for you or your pet
  • Insect repellent, long-sleeved and long-legged clothing for protection against mosquitoes
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Local maps
  • Adapt your list to your family’s needs as you learn more

Buncombe County is a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador

The Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador™ initiative is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) effort to formally recognize NOAA partners who are improving the nation's readiness, responsiveness, and overall resilience against extreme weather, water, and climate events. As a WRN Ambassador, partners commit to working with NOAA and other Ambassadors to strengthen national resilience against extreme weather. In effect, the WRN Ambassador initiative helps unify the efforts across government, non-profits, academia, and private industry toward making the nation more ready, responsive, and resilient against extreme environmental hazards. Weather-Ready Nation (WRN) is a strategic outcome where society's response should be equal to the risk from all extreme weather, water, and climate hazards.

DISCOVER BUNCOMBE - E911 VERFICATION

Every second counts in an emergency. Making sure your address is correct and visible helps first responders find your home faster.


Public Health Preparedness

Health and Human Services plays a critical role in community preparedness. Whether it is staffing a shelter in impacted areas of our community, outbreak prevention and response, or flood and river safety, HHS partners with our community to mitigate both natural and manmade events that impact the public’s health.

Emergency Shelters

During extreme winter storms or flood events, HHS works with the Red Cross to open shelters in impacted areas of our community where needs are identified. The shelters are staffed by social work, economic services, and public health workers to ensure that the basic life safety needs of those impacted are met with an experienced and knowledgeable human services worker. To find out when a shelter opens near you be sure to follow Buncombe County Government and HHS on Facebook, sign up for BCAlert, or call 2-1-1.

Immunizations & Mass Medication Distrubution

Vaccinations are a critical aspect of community preparedness. Preventable diseases like Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Pertussis (Whooping Cough), Hepatitis, and Meningitis are still prevalent today. Be as safe as possible by getting yourself and your family fully immunized. Talk to your doctor or call the Immunization Clinic at (828) 250-5096.

In the event of a massive outbreak of a dangerous and contagious illness, HHS would work with community partners to stand up Point of Dispensing (POD) sites to provide protective medication to our community. POD exercises are conducted yearly to test and improve this important response event.

Boil Water Advisories

Citizens who use a municipal water supply should contact their water provider for details regarding any boil water advisories. If you are in Buncombe County or the City of Asheville and you do not use a private well system for your water source, visit the City of Asheville’s water advisory alert page for scheduled outages and boil water advisories. You can also sign up for AVL Alerts to receive boil water advisories via text.

Residential, Business, and Special Events

When addressing the impacts of flooding, residents and businesses should be aware of the dangerous health impacts of flooding. Floodwaters can impact septic and well systems, exposing the public to infectious diseases, chemical hazards, and injuries both during and after a weather event. Proper assessment of wells and septic systems as well as cleaning and moisture removal remain key to eliminating threats to the public’s health. Please reference ‘What to Do After the Flood' by the EPA to learn more about considerations for well and pump safety after a flood event.

Power outages can also create food safety issues for homes and businesses. When the refrigerator goes out and you are concerned about food safety, you can reference the Environmental Health Preparedness Manual to learn more about food safety before, during, and after a weather event.

Businesses and special events can use the Buncombe County Inclement Weather Plan of Action as a reference guide in the event of adverse weather. You can also contact Environmental Health at (828) 250-5016 for assistance with food safety concerns.

Recreational Water Use Advisories and Communications

HHS works with partner agencies to issue recreational water use advisories when a spill event has occurred. The impacted area will be posted with signage and press releases will be issued. We also partner with local businesses and media to spread the word about potential hazards of spills and advisories. Sign up for BCAlert to receive recreational water use advisories.