The Health Department staff responds to both natural and made-made disasters in partnership with Emergency Management and many other county agencies. The Health Department trains with local agencies and those from the surrounding counties to be adequately prepared to protect the health of the public in a disaster event.

Winter Weather Safety

Be Fire Smart– Home fires occur more in winter than any other season. Heating equipment is involved in 1 in every 7 home fires.

Hurricanes/ Flooding/ Severe Weather                                                           

Hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th. Being prepared for severe weather ahead of time is the best plan. Every citizen should have a disaster kit and a communication plan for family members in the case of a flood, tornado, hurricane and other natural weather events.

In the event of a hurricane predicted to approach Coastal North Carolina, public health, Emergency Management, EMS, Fire Marshall, Transportation, Department of Aging, Department of Social Services, Sheriff’s Office and many other agencies collaborate with the County Manager, County Commissioners to develop the safest plan for the citizens of the county.

The county uses local schools for shelters, they are familiar locations to the public and located geographically near major roads. If shelters are needed they are opened as soon as they are fully staffed usually 12-24 hours before predicted landfall.

Sign Up for Duplin County Hyper Reach Calls  – County residents can sign-up for the Hyper Reach Alert text system to receive weather information and notification of shelter locations and opening times. Public can check the county website as well as listings on local media station.

Shelter Locations- Check with Emergency Management on the opening of shelters for a hurricane, flooding or other severe weather at 910-296-2160.

The shelters are opened on a as needed basis, dependent on the path of the storm and prediction for flooding.

What to bring to a shelter?

  1. Identification for each family member
  2. Contact information for family/friends
  3. 7-day supply of medicine in the original bottle if possible
  4. Written list of all medications with doctor’s name and phone number
  5. Eye glasses, hearing aids, dentures
  6. Children’s diapers and wipes
  7. Special dietary foods, baby food, formula
  8. Clothing for 3-7 days
  9. Pillow/blankets
  10. Daily toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, soap, washcloth, feminine hygiene products)
  11. Cell phone with charger
  12. Flashlight and batteries
  13. Books, games, cards

What NOT to bring to a shelter?

  1. No weapons, alcohol, illicit drugs
  2. No candles or open flames allowed
  3. No glass containers
  4. No tobacco products (including e-cigarettes)- as it is prohibited in the shelter or on the school grounds
  5. No pets/animals allowed at the public shelters except service animals.
    • A separate area for pets (cats and dogs only) is located at the James Kenan High School shelter location. Please bring necessary food, crate and proof of rabies vaccination.

Communicable Disease

In the event of a wide spread disease event such as: Coronavirus, novel influenza virus, avian flu, hemorrhagic fever – i.e. Ebola; a terrorist release of a Category A agent; a vaccine preventable disease outbreak including measles, Hepatitis A (foodborne illness), or whooping cough the general public may need medication to prevent the spread of disease. The Health Department along with their partners will open public medication dispensing stations to determine who has been exposed and at risk for developing disease, who are sick and need immediate medical care and provide education to the public on how to contain the spread of disease so others in the community do not become sick.

Bioterrorism Agents

Bioterrorism agents are separated into three categories depending on how easily they can be spread and the severity of illness or death they cause. Category A is the highest {Anthrax, Botulism, Pneumonic Plague, Smallpox, Tularemia, Viral Hemorrhagic Fever VHF}

  • Can be easily spread or transmitted from person to person
  • They result in high death rate and have the potential for major public health impact.
  • They could cause extreme concern and social disruption.
  • They require special action for public health preparedness


Heating Safety Tips

Hurricane Safety Tips

FEMA– (1-800-621-3362)

Disaster Assistance

American Red Cross

Hurricane Guide

NC Preparedness

National Weather Service Hurricane Center