Prepare Before An Emergency

Make a Plan

Talk to your family about the hazards that could affect your area and what you should do if it happens.

  • Decide on a place to meet – one in your neighborhood and one outside your neighborhood – in case you cannot return to your home.
  • Write down your plan and make it part of your emergency supply kit.  
  • Texts, email and social media posts are more likely to get through when cell networks are overloaded.
  • Plan for your pets. Most evacuation shelters allow service animals only. (See more about pets below.)
  • Ask an out-of-town friend or family member to serve as a point of contact for all the member of your household. Often during an emergency, long-distance calls will go through when local networks are overwhelmed.
  • If you are instructed to turn off your home’s utilities, teach family members where and how to turn them off. Keep tools near the location.  If you turn off the gas, a professional must turn it back on – do not attempt to do it yourself.

If you’re in your vehicle when a disaster strikes, it is important to listen to the radio for any updates or instructions. Only drive if you absolutely have to and ensure that you have a substantial amount of gas before you leave your home.

Listen to local TV or radio for local weather forecasts and road conditions. If bad weather is forecast, drive only if absolutely necessary. Make sure your vehicle is in good working order with at least a half tank of gas.

  • Do not drive through a flooded area – Six inches of water can cause you to lose control of your car; 12 inches can make it float away.
  • Where floodwaters have receded – Roads may be weak and could collapse under the weight of a car.
  • If a power line falls on your car, you are at risk of electrical shock – stay inside until a trained person removes the wire.

Build a Kit

An emergency supplies kit is simply a collection of items your family may need in an emergency. You likely have most of the items around the house, so it’s just a matter of gathering them together.

Assemble the kit before an emergency in case you need to evacuate. Also, be sure every member of your household knows where the kit is kept.

Keep enough water, food and supplies for three to seven days for each person and pet. You may be on your own for several hours or even days after a disaster since local officials and relief workers cannot reach everyone immediately. Also, basic services like water, gas, electricity, sewage treatment and phones may be out for several days, a week or more.

Being prepared not only increases your and your family’s ability to survive, but also reduces the workload of first responders, emergency medical services, fire fighters and law enforcement.

Having an emergency supply kit is essential to making it through a disaster safely. Make sure to have supplies on hand to last each person at least three days. We’ve outlined a great list for you to start with.

  • Water – 1 gallon per person per day for 3 to 7 days
  • Food – non-perishable and canned food supply for 3 to 7 days
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and NOAA Weather Radio with extra batteries
  • Cell phone with charger
  • First aid kit and first aid book
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Anti-bacterial hand wipes or gel
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Blanket or sleeping bag per person
  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Seasonal change of clothing, including sturdy shoes
  • Toiletries – toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, feminine supplies
  • Extra house and car keys
  • Important documents – insurance policies, identification, bank account records
  • Fire extinguisher – ABC-type
  • Cash and change
  • Books, games or cards

Stay Informed

You can receive important lifesaving alerts no matter where you are – at home, at school, or at work.

Public safety officials use reliable systems to alert you and your family in the event of natural or man-made disasters. Guilford County utilizes several systems to relay important information during emergencies and disasters. Explore below to learn about the systems used in Guilford County.

Guilford Emergency Alert, Notification, and Information System

The Guilford Emergency Alert, Notification, and Information System “G.E.A.N.I.” is an automated system to notify you of urgent and emergency information through your cell phone, home phone and/or email. The system provides time sensitive, geographically based public safety messages through voice, text, and e-mail, and is available to all residents and businesses within Guilford County (including City of High Point residents in Forsyth, Davidson, and Randolph Counties).

The system is activated by public safety personnel to provide you with information about evacuations, shelter-in-place incidents, severe weather response and recovery efforts, law enforcement events, and other urgent incidents that affect your safety.

Additional Information

If you have a traditional land line telephone number which is not marked as “unpublished” you are automatically enrolled in G.E.A.N.I., and will receive notifications affecting your area.

Cellular and VoIP telephones are not automatically added to the system database. If you would like receive notifications on your cellular or VoIP device to, you must self register on the G.E.A.N.I. system.

Participation is voluntary and your number will not be shared for any other purpose.

Although this is a free service, you may be charged a standard fee from your cellular phone service provider if you exceed your current data plan for receiving voice calls or text messages. The agencies involved in G.E.A.N.I. are not responsible for any charges that may be incurred as a result of receiving these alerts.

Voice notifications will be sent to your designated phone from telephone number (336) 641-8100 and we recommend adding this number to your phone’s contact list.

If you wish not to receive notifications, you can opt out of the system by sending an e-mail to gcemsupport@guilford-es.com.

For general questions about G.E.A.N.I. you can contact Guilford County Emergency Management at (336) 641-2278.

For technical questions about G.E.A.N.I. you can contact gcemsupport@guilford-es.com.