Emergency response coordinators explain how to be prepared for hurricanes

GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) – Many people in eastern Carolina know it’s important to have a kit ready in the event of a hurricane, but they’re not the only ones who need to prepare.

Health officials spend countless hours saving lives when neighborhoods and communities are destroyed. WITN spoke with them on Tuesday about how they prepare to spring into action at any moment.

“What we can do is really very special and unique, making sure that people in our community always have the ability to seek medical care,” said Stephanie Seals, ECU Health disaster services specialist.

When you need it most, ECU Health first responders like her are waiting for your call.

“When hurricane season hits, we try to address our gaps, and in doing so, we try to look at our plans, how much fuel, water, food… our communications systems and our infrastructure,” Chris Starbuck, Eastern Healthcare Preparedness said on Coalition Healthcare Preparedness Coordinator.

As we move through the peak of hurricane season, with two active riots on the way, Starbuck said coordinators want the public to know the help they can offer, like their mass evacuation bus and mobile field hospital, in which Seals worked during past storms.

While resources are available if you need them, your first and often best line of defense is your own emergency plan. The authorities recommend putting together a kit with food, water, batteries and cleaning products: everything you need to survive without electricity or water for at least seven days.

“My biggest encouragement for everyone is to start small. You can buy little things each month, go to the Dollar Tree, the dollar store, and get a few things each month to start building that kit. You don’t have to rush out and buy everything at once because it can be a little expensive,” Seals said.

While there is an upfront cost, it is certainly worth it to feel prepared.

Hurricanes aren’t the only disasters you need emergency kits for. Events like infrastructure and supply chain backups are also possibilities.

For a complete list of what to include in your own kit, visit

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