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Prepare for an Emergency

Disasters can happen at any time and being prepared can save lives, reduce the risk of injury, and protect property. Please use the resources below to ensure you are prepared before, during, and after a disaster. 

The best time to prepare for a disaster is before it happens. 

Be sure to assemble a disaster supply kit well before the storm hits. Since many of the items are household items, they can easily be picked up all at once or one-by-one during your weekly or bi-weekly trips to the grocery store.

The goal is to store enough supplies for at least three days and up to seven days, if possible. 

  • Easy-to-carry, water-tight container(s) to store all items

  • Water: One gallon per person, per day

  • Water purification kit/bleach

  • First aid kit and first aid book

  • Mosquito repellent

  • Sunscreen

  • Pre-cooked, non-perishable foods (canned meats, granola bars, peanut butter, instant soup, cereals, dried fruit, powdered milk, etc.)

  • Portable camp stove or grill with extra propane

  • Non-electric can opener

  • Waterproof lighter

  • Paper diningware (plates, cups, utensils)

  • Paper towels/napkins

  • Aluminum foil

  • Oven mitts

  • Trash bags

  • Baby supplies (formula, bottle, pacifier, diapers, baby wipes, etc.)

  • Anti-bacterial hand wipes/gel

  • Blanket or sleeping bag per person

  • Battery-operated alarm clock, radio and/or TV (with extra batteries)

  • Flashlight (with extra batteries)

  • Essential medications and copies of prescriptions

  • Bar soap and toiletries

  • Toilet paper

  • Cash and change

  • Seasonal change of clothing (including sturdy shoes and work gloves)

  • Cleaning supplies

  • Hand tools, duct tape, rope, etc.

  • Documents and back-up discs of important computer files

  • Medical history

  • Photo IDs

  • Camera, books, games, cards, etc.

  • Food, water, leash, and carrier for pets

Know Your Zone is a cooperative effort of North Carolina Emergency Management and county emergency management partners in coastal counties. Knowing your evacuation zone ahead of time can ensure efficiency and safety when an evacuation becomes necessary. 

NCDOT Evacuation Resources

Shelters will be managed by Brunswick County if Leland is experiencing an emergency event.

You should include your pets in your family emergency plan and have an emergency kit for them, too! 

If you need to evacuate, bring your pets with you. Securely leash your dogs and carry cats in pet carriers. Do not let pets run free during an emergency, as major storms and other disasters may cause pets to panic, hide, try to escape, or even bite and scratch.

Pet Emergency Supplies:

  • Enough water and canned/dry food for three to seven days (get pop top cans or have a can opener)
  • Pet feeding dishes
  • Muzzle, collar, and leash
  • Proper ID, including immunization records (in addition to your pet's ID tag, which should include name, phone number, and any urgent medical needs)
  • Current photos of your pets in case they become lost
  • Medical records (stored in a waterproof container) and a first aid kit
  • A two week supply of any medicine your pet requires
  • Pet beds and toys (if easily transportable)
  • Disposable litter trays (aluminum pans) for cats
  • Litter or paper towels
  • Pet traveling bag or sturdy carrier, ideally for each pet
  • Blanket (for fearful pets)
  • Proper fitting muzzle

Staying Safe at Home

If you choose to remain at home, make sure you have enough supplies to be self-sufficient for several days. Stay tuned to local media for emergency information and remain alert of changing weather conditions.

If the eye of the storm passes over your area, be aware that severe conditions will quickly return.

Evacuation Safety

Many interstates and major highways to and from coastal North Carolina can accommodate heavy traffic volume and have higher speed limits to allow drivers to leave threatened areas more quickly and efficiently than using local roads.

Coastal Routes Map

Before You Leave:

  • Know your evacuation destination and be aware of available shelters. Notify family and friends of your plans.
  • If there is time to do so safely, turn off gas, electricity, and water.
  • Unplug appliances.
  • Take your emergency supply kit with you. Bring extra cash, medications, and important documents when you evacuate.
  • Remember, specialty items (infant formula, diapers, specific dietary foods, durable medical. equipment, and some medical supplies) may not be available at emergency shelters.
  • Not all shelters are pet-friendly, so double-check before bringing your animals.
  • Keep your cell phone charged and calls brief to minimize network congestion.

Having to face the aftermath of a disaster can sometimes be worse than the disaster itself. The provided resources aim to assist through the transition back into life pre-disaster. 

Follow Directions

Local and state officials will determine when it’s safe to return home and can advise on the safest routes. A staged re-entry process may be used to facilitate a safe and orderly return, allowing the recovery process to begin. Watch the Town website and social media channels, as well as the Brunswick County website, for re-entry instructions after an evacuation.

Watch Out

Avoid walking or driving through flood waters, which may hide hazards. Never drive through flood waters or around barricades, as streets and bridges may be washed out.

Inspect Carefully

Once you return, walk around the outside to check for loose power lines (do not touch), gas leaks, and structural damage. If you smell gas or if there is structural damage, do not enter until local officials have declared it safe. If clearing debris, be careful not to block roadways, fire hydrants, or utility boxes.

The Town’s standing contract for the provision of curbside pickup of debris is based on a significant storm (typically Category 3 or higher) that produces substantial and widespread damage throughout all areas of Town.

In 2018, even though Hurricane Florence reached landfall as a Category 1 storm, the effects were far greater because significant rainfall and sustained winds for several days caused major damage to all areas of Town, thus initiating the curbside response that is reserved for major disasters.

The Town will notify residents via this website and on social media channels if curbside pickup will be initiated following a storm. 

Yard waste should not be placed in your household trash or recycling bins. If you have vegetative storm debris you would like to dispose of, the following options are available to you:

Limit open burning and never burn trash, lumber, tires, plastics, or other man-made materials.

Following a storm, drinking water can become contaminated and may cause illness. Look out for public announcements from Brunswick County about the safety of the public water supply.

If you are on well water and extensive flooding has occurred near your home, do not drink the water and do not turn on the electricity to your pump until flood waters recede. Use bottled water until your well has been disinfected and your water has been tested.


If you are a homeowner or renter whose home has been damaged in a storm, resources are available to help you recover.

Assistance may come from any number of organizations, including those relying on volunteers. These organizations provide food, shelter, and supplies and assist with clean-up efforts.

  • NC 211: Public information portal and referral service for residents to obtain real-time communications and resources related to the disaster.
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): In severe disasters, FEMA may provide support to individuals and families with temporary housing, counseling, and other assistance. FEMA grants may help you make basic repairs so your home is safe, sanitary, and secure. 
  • U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA): Low-interest loans for businesses, homeowners, and renters during times of disaster.
  • Fraud Alert: Survivors should beware of fraud and scams and report any suspicious activity or potential fraud from scam artists, identity thieves, and other criminals.

After a disaster, the generosity of the public can further assist affected communities in their recovery efforts.

However, according to, the number of donated items can quickly exceed the needs of those communities and overwhelm organizations that receive donations. Following a disaster, you may be asked to refrain from donating unsolicited goods so responding agencies can provide immediate services and needs can be accurately identified.

Donate  Donate Cash 

If you are not affected by the disaster, the most effective way to support recovery is to make tax-deductible financial donations to trusted charitable organizations so they may purchase, or provide vouchers for, the specific items survivors actually need. This also allows the purchase of goods or services locally, which helps put money back into the local economy and speed the recovery of businesses.

TrustUse Trusted Organizations

If you donate goods, only donate to reputable organizations to ensure your financial contribution is used responsibly.

The N.C. Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) website provides a list of vetted disaster relief organizations that provide services to survivors in North Carolina.

Register Register Before Volunteering

Check with local organizations for information about where volunteers are needed.

Until volunteers are specifically requested, you should stay away from disaster areas. When unaffiliated volunteers self-deploy, it can create additional burdens on communities in which resources for food and shelter are scarce.

If you would like to volunteer, it is best to register with VolunteerNC or with a voluntary or charitable organization of your choice.