Emergency Preparedness

Emergencies and disasters can strike quickly and without warning, forcing people to leave or be confined in their homes. For the thousands of Americans living with ALS, emergencies such as fires, floods and acts of nature present a real challenge. We recognize how important it is that people living with ALS and their family members have the resources they need to make plans to protect themselves in the event of a disaster.

While we are not a disaster response organization nor direct care provider, we've assembled the following information and resources to help you and your family plan and prepare. Should you need non-emergency assistance, call or email us at 1-877-568-4347 or info@alsnc.org.

PLEASE print all relevant information you may need to access in case of an emergency so you are prepared in the event of lost power or Internet access. Click here for a more detailed preparedness guide.



Contact your local fire department and other first responder organizations and report to them that a person living with ALS resides in the home. Make sure they understand any specific medical needs (e.g. tracheostomy, ventilator-dependent, feeding tube, mobility issues etc.) In the event of an emergency or disaster, the 911 system would have a “disability notice” through the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) that would alert responders that a person living at that residence needs additional attention immediately. The address also appears on EMS computers during 911 calls, serving a double purpose.

If you rely on a ventilator, cough assist device or other necessary medical equipment that requires electricity or battery back-up, you may want to have a back-up generator and adequate fuel supply for power outages. Backup/portable batteries should be charged and tested. Make sure you are comfortable using those batteries in the case of a loss of power. Understand that if you do lose power, your battery is intended to give you time to get to a safe place that has power.

Contact your local electric service operator to ‘register’ the household as having an occupant requiring electricity for medical devices. This may include providing documentation of disability. This must be done ahead of time and not during a disaster. If you have not yet registered, please try to do so as soon as possible.

Find local North Carolina County Emergency Management Offices here: www.ncdps.gov/emergency-management/em-community/directories/counties

Emergency shelters may be opened should a hurricane approach North Carolina. Before heading to a public shelter, first consider staying with family and friends or in a hotel out of the evacuated area. If those options are unavailable, the American Red Cross will provide a safe place to stay when you have no other place to go. Cots and blankets will only be provided in the public shelter after hurricane conditions subside. Although food may be provided, specialty items for individuals on restricted diets may not be available.

(Please Note: ‘Regular’ shelters may not have the electrical service or additional staff required for persons using power wheel chairs or other medical equipment requiring electricity.)

Review and keep the important information below handy in the event of an emergency or disaster.

Important Links:

Important Phone Numbers:

    • Emergency: 911
    • FEMA: 800-621-3362
    • NC DOT Statewide Road Closures: 511
    • Disaster Distress Helpline: 800-985-5990

Disaster Distress Helpline is a resource available 24 hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week that provides immediate services to anyone who may need crisis counseling after experiencing a natural or man-made disaster or tragedy.

American Red Cross:

Red Cross - Eastern North Carolina Region

  • Triangle Area Chapter - 919-231-1602 - Serving Chatham, Franklin, Johnston, Lee, Wake and Warren Counties
  • Cape Fear Chapter - 910-762-2683 - Serving Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Duplin, Greene, Jones, Lenoir, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender and Wayne Counties.
  • Central North Carolina Chapter 919-489-6541 - Serving Durham, Granville, Orange, Person and Vance Counties
  • Sandhills Chapter - 910-867-8151 - Serving Bladen, Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Moore, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, and Scotland Counties
  • Northeastern North Carolina Chapter - 252-355-3800 - Serving Beaufort, Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Edgecombe, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, Hyde, Martin, Nash, Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Pitt, Tyrrell, Washington and Wilson Counties

Red Cross - Western North Carolina Region

  • Charlotte Metro Chapter - 704-376-1661 - Serving Mecklenburg and Iredell Counties
  • Southern Piedmont Chapter - 704-283-7402 - Serving Anson, Cabarrus, Montgomery, Rowan, Stanly and Union Counties.
  • Piedmont Triad Chapter - 336-333-2111 - Serving Alamance, Caswell, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Guilford, Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry and Yadkin Counties
  • Sandhills Chapter - 910-867-8151 - Serving Bladen, Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Moore, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, and Scotland Counties
  • Blue Ridge Piedmont Chapter - 828-322-4151 - Serving Alleghany, Alexander, Ashe, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Lincoln, Watauga and Wilkes Counties
  • Asheville Mountain Area Chapter - 828-258-3888 - Serving Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania and Yancey Counties


Additional Resources: