Be Ready for Sudden Disasters with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management’s PrepareAthon


Sudden heavy downpours cause flash floods, prompting numerous road closures. Protests downtown turn violent, disrupting the city for more than a week. Sirens around McGuire Nuclear Station begin to wail, announcing an emergency at the nuclear power plant. These disasters are unpredictable and unforeseen and leave a path of destruction in their wake.


Timing is everything in these critical situations, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg residents and businesses must be ready to take appropriate action immediately. Fortunately, a new program from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management is making it easier to respond.


Educating residents about what to do in an unanticipated crisis is the goal of Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s PrepareAthon, a grassroots campaign for action to increase community preparedness and resilience. This campaign will run April 24-28, 2017, and is supported by the National Weather Service, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Storm Water, Charlotte Water, Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department Animal Care and Control Unit, and many others.


Each day during Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s PrepareAthon, residents, business and organizations are urged to take the following actions, then share their photos on social media platforms using #CharMeckPrepareathon.


Monday, April 24: Sign up for CharMeck Alerts/purchase and program a NOAA Weather Radio. The CharMeck Alerts emergency notification system will send you weather and health alerts, evacuation information and other critical news via email, text or voice mail. To register, visit, Also, be sure to purchase and program a NOAA Weather Radio.


Tuesday, April 25: Learn your flood risk. Standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding. Whether you’re a homeowner or renter, you’ll need a separate policy for it, and it’s available through your company agent or the National Flood Insurance Program at To help you better understand your flood risk Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management is hosting a free flood workshop at 10a.m.-2p.m. at Central Piedmont Community College 1201 Elizabeth Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28235


Wednesday, April 26: Develop an evacuation plan. Learn several evacuation routes from your home and business. Be sure to plan for your pets, too. Never leave them behind as they could become injured – or worse. Visit to find pet-friendly hotels, and make sure your pet wears a collar or harness with ID and rabies tags and a leash.


Thursday, April 27: Build your Ready kit. In some emergencies, you may be instructed to shelter-in-place, or remain indoors until the danger passes. Have enough supplies to last for at least three days. Include non-perishable food, water, flashlight with extra batteries, first aid kit, NOAA Weather Radio and additional supplies for the unique needs of your family, such as medications or baby formula. Be sure to have a portable kit in your vehicle and at the office, and be prepared to shelter at work at least 24 hours.


Friday, April 28: You are the Help Until Help Arrives. Life-threatening emergencies can happen fast, and emergency responders aren’t always nearby. This new web-based training program arms you with simple actions you can immediately take to save a life.


A recent FEMA survey found that nearly 60 percent of American adults have not practiced what to do in a disaster by participating in a disaster drill or preparedness exercise at work, school, or home in the past year. Further, less than half of these adults have developed an emergency plan and discussed it with their household.


To learn more about emergency preparedness in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area, visit Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management at