Are you prepared? Make an emergency kit before disaster hits

  • Posted: Sunday, September 22, 2013 12:25 a.m.
    UPDATED: Sunday, September 22, 2013 12:30 a.m.
Disaster supplies. Photo by Susan Shinn, for the Salisbury Post.
Disaster supplies. Photo by Susan Shinn, for the Salisbury Post.

Roy Beam hopes his training will never be put to use.

Beam, a retired sergeant with the Highway Patrol, is a volunteer for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Volunteers on this team live in local neighborhoods, and stand ready to respond in the event of a tornado, flood, high winds or other natural disasters.

Some 40 CERT volunteers are spread throughout the county, and Rowan County offers a 20-hour training class as needed.

During training, volunteers learn how to prepare for a disaster, how to apply basic fire suppression to extinguish a fire, how to perform disaster first aid and triage, how to assist with search and rescue situations, how to perform damage assessment and more. At the end of training, each student receives a green CERT backpack filled with disaster supplies.

Since September is National Preparedness Month, Beam urges everyone to go through the training or even put together their own emergency kits.

Items may include:

1. a pair of heavy-duty work gloves

2. a first-aid kit with band-aids, bandages and dressings

3. a wrench, used to turn off gas meters

4. a flashlight and batteries

5. a pair of goggles and a hard hat

6. a roll of duct tape, which has multiple uses

7. a whistle

8. a filter mask to wear in smoke-filled areas

9. a silver, reflective emergency blanket

10. a pair of single-use medical gloves

11. a light stick

12. a backpack or other carrying case

Beam added a compass to his pack and a bottle of water. Information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, through which CERT was formed, urges homeowners to pack enough fresh water, food and warm clothes to last three days.

“We’re gonna be there first if something happens in your community,” Beam says. “We want others to get involved and get training to be able to help, should the need arise. You can even use this kit within your own family.”

He adds, “We train, hopefully, never to get used.”

For more information about CERT training, contact advisors Lennie Cooper or Jeffrey Youngblood at 704-216-8900 or or .

Freelance writer Susan Shinn lives in Salisbury.

Notice about comments: is pleased to offer readers the ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click "report abuse" and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website. Full terms and conditions can be read here.

Do not post the following:

  • Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
  • Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
  • Personal attacks, insults or threats.
  • The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
  • Comments unrelated to the story.