Safety & Preparedness

How to Prepare for an Emergency
  • Sign up for Code Red emergency notifications by calling (252) 972-1376 or visiting

  • Build an Emergency Kit that includes a three-day supply of non-perishable food and water, medications, a radio, a flashlight and extra batteries. For a complete list of supplies, visit

  • Use generators only in well-ventilated areas. DO NOT use generators indoors. DO NOT connect generators directly in to your home's electrical system. Always follow manufacturer's instructions.

  • If you lose power, turn off all electrical appliances except one light. DO NOT try to move power lines or trees or anything else in contact with power lines. Call (252) 467-4800 to report the outage and damage to any electrical equipment, such as power lines, transformers or poles.

  • Call (252) 467-4800 to make sure the City has your most current phone number on file. This will save time later when calling to report a power outage.

  • Download the Weathering the Storm (PDF, 195KB) resource sheet with tips on how to prepare for severe weather

Preparing for Severe Weather
Before the Storm

Build an Emergency Kit
Include a three-day supply of basic items your family will need in the event of a power outage, such as:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day)

  • Non-perishable food and manual can opener

  • Battery-powered radio or TV

  • Flashlights and extra batteries

  • First Aid kit and prescription medicines

  • Infant formula and diapers

  • Pet food

  • Important family documents

  • Cash or traveler's checks

  • Landline phone (cordless phones need electricity) or cell phone and car charger

Update Contact Information
Make sure the City has your most current phone number on file by calling (252) 467-4800. This will save time later when calling to report a power outage.

Customers with Life-Sustaining Equipment
Customers with life-sustaining equipment should inform their rescue squads and fire departments, and have emergency back-up equipment on hand.

Register for Code Red
Register for the Code Red Emergency Notification system to receive alerts in the event of an emergency situation, such as an evacuation. To sign up for Code Red, call the Fire/Life Safety division at (252) 972-1376 or sign up online.

Make a Communications Plan
Develop a family communications plan so you will know how to contact one another if disaster strikes. Click here to Download And Print A Plan.

During the Storm
  • Stay tuned to local news broadcasts.

  • Connect with us on social media to stay informed about outage restoration updates and safety tips. You'll find us on Facebook, Twitter, and (Please DO NOT use social media to report power outages. Call (252) 467-4800 to report outages and utility emergencies.)

  • Bring in anything from outside that can be picked up by the wind (e.g. bicycles, lawn furniture, etc.)

  • In the event of an evacuation, locate an open shelter by clicking here or by texting SHELTER + your ZIPCODE to 43362 (4FEMA)

If There's a Power Outage

  • Call (252) 467-4800 to report the outage and any downed power lines.

  • Turn off all electronic appliances except for one light and a porch light (so crews know when power is restored).

  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed.

  • Never use a generator indoors and always follow the manufacturer's instructions.

  • Turn off the stove and any heat-producing appliances.

  • Once power is restored, gradually switch on appliances and return thermostats to their normal settings.

After the Storm
  • Report Outages and Damages
    Call (252) 467-4800 to report power outages, downed power lines, trees or limbs on power lines, and any damaged service equipment.

  • Repair Equipment

  • Call a licensed electrician if repair is needed to customer-owned equipment.See the Utility-Owned and Customer-Owned Equipment illustration. (PDF, 114KB)

Prevent Frozen Pipes

Pipes that freeze most frequently are those exposed to severe cold and located in unheated interior areas (e.g. basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages, and kitchen cabinets). As temperatures drop, take the following steps to prevent frozen pipes:

  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.

  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. (Move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children.)

  • While you are away, set the thermostat to 50°F or warmer.

  • Insulate pipes in your home's crawl spaces and attic.

  • Disconnect garden hoses from outside faucets.

  • Let water trickle from the hot and cold spigot on the faucet. Running water through the pipe, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.