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Disaster Preparedness

Disaster Preparedness
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September 10, 2018

Email: (media) (all other inquiries)

Media Line: 980.498.7737
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Be prepared for severe weather and hurricane season in North Carolina!

Do you have a plan ready in event of weather-related emergencies?  The Alzheimer's Association is here to help caregivers take measures to prepare for and cope with such extraordinary circumstances.

Call us 24/7: 800-272-3900

Local offices may close in dangerous weather conditions, but our Helpline is available 24/7. Our staff is available to provide counseling and support to help families plan ahead for emergencies.

Plan ahead

Prepare an Emergency Kit. 

In a waterproof container or bag, pack:
  • Copies of important documents, such as legal papers, a list of medications and dosages, and insurance information
  • Several sets of extra clothing
  • Extra medication
  • Incontinence products
  • Identification items, such as a MedicAlert® + Alzheimer's Association Safe Return® ID bracelet and clothing labels
  • A recent picture of the person with dementia
  • Bottled water
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Favorite items or foods
  • Extra batteries for hearing aids, extra eyeglasses, etc

Enroll your loved one in MedicAlert® + Alzheimer's Association Safe Return®. 
This is a 24-hour nationwide emergency response service for individuals with Alzheimer’s or related dementia that wander or who have a medical emergency.

Make a plan and discuss it with family. 
We suggest downloading The Calm Before the Storm: Family Conversations about Disaster Planning, Caregiving, Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia. It offers new research and life-saving tips to help caregivers, family and friends of those with Alzheimer’s disease who live at home prepare for a natural disaster and get their lives back on track in the aftermath.
Tune in to stay up-to-date.
  • Download the ReadyNC app for latest traffic, shelters, flood gauge info, evacuations and more.
  • Tip - consider taking screenshots so you can access this information if you lose internet connectivity.

Evacuating and finding shelter.
  • Before heading to a public shelter, first consider staying with family and friends or in a hotel out of the evacuated area.
  • News media will often be your first and best source of information on evacuations, shelter openings, and other important information. During an evacuation, pay attention to emergency alerts via media and road signs for information about the nearest open shelter in case you need it.
  • If you plan to evacuate to a shelter, you should want to carry the supplies listed in your Emergency Kit, plus blankets, sleeping bags, pillows and cots and special foods, if needed.
  • Even in the early stage of Alzheimer’s, changes in routine, traveling and new environments may increase the risk for wandering and agitation. Stay alert for unexpected reactions that may result from these changes.
  • Do not leave the person with dementia alone. When appropriate, share your loved one's diagnosis with others, such as hotel or shelter staff, so they can better assist. Try to stay together or with a group; it only takes a moment to get lost.

Additional Resources

If you need immediate assistance for an emergency situation, dial 911.

NC Department of Public Safety:
Check out their new app for on-the-go tools and resources, including a planning checklist and weather-related closures. Get the NC Hurricane Guide, plus view evacuation routes, shelters, and current road conditions.
Federal Emergency Management Agency 

National Hurricane Center
Provides hurricane alerts and tips to prepare for a hurricane.

Local America Red Cross Chapters in western & central North Carolina:
  • Charlotte Metro Chapter - 704-347-8238
    • Located in Charlotte, NC.  Serves Mecklenburg and Iredell Counties.
  • Southern Piedmont Chapter - 704-283-7402
    • Located in Concord, NC.  Serves Anson, Cabarrus, Montgomery, Rowan, Stanly, and Union counties.
  • Piedmont Triad Chapter - 336-333-2111
    • Located in Greensboro, NC. Serves Alamance, Caswell, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Guilford, Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, and Yadkin counties.
  • Blue Ridge Piedmont Chapter - 828-322-4151
    • Located in Hickory, NC.  Serves Alleghany, Alexander, Ashe, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Lincoln, Watauga, and Wilkes counties.
  • Western North Carolina Chapter - 828-258-3888
    • Located in Asheville, NC. Serves Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, and Yancey counties.
  • Find other local American Red Cross Chapters in NC.

Alzheimer's Association

The Alzheimer's Association leads the way to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's and all other dementia.™ For more information, visit or call the 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.

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