- Emergency Management
- Learn about Local Hazards
Learn about Local Hazards
New Hanover County residents should be prepared for potentially damaging weather and other emergencies that could impact our community. Hurricanes, floods, snow storms, and other emergencies have caused power outages, property damage, and interruptions in food and water supplies in our area. Depending on the type of emergency, you may be asked to evacuate or shelter in place (stay put).
In addition to preparing an emergency plan and supply kit before disaster strikes, it is important to be informed and ready to respond to specific emergencies or hazardous situations.
All Hazards Planning and Resources
Know what hazards and threats could impact our area. Order resources, request a speaker, and find out what you need to be #ReadyNHC.
When emergencies strike, New Hanover County uses timely and reliable systems to alert you. Learn about the different warning alerts you can get and how to get them.
Attacks in Crowded and Public Spaces
Take steps to prepare and protect yourself and to help others in the event of a mass attack.
Being safe at the beach is more than remembering the sunscreen and a beach blanket. Do you know what to do if you get caught in a rip current? What happens when thunderstorms come up all of a sudden on the beach? What's the surf like today? Jellyfish? Learn more about beach safety and how to be ready for everything from life guards to waterspouts here.
Biological agents are organisms or toxins that can kill or disable people, livestock and crops. Biological events can either be accidental or intentional. Both types of events can make you sick. There are things you can do to prepare and be safe in case an incident occurs.
Cyberattacks are malicious attempts to access or damage a computer or network system. Cyberattacks can lead to the loss of money or the theft of personal, financial and medical information. These attacks can damage your reputation and safety.
Nearly every part of the U.S. experiences periods of reduced rainfall. Planning in advance for a drought can protect us in dry years.
An earthquake is a sudden, rapid shaking of the ground caused by the shifting of rocks deep underneath the earth’s surface. Although they are rare in New Hanover, many areas to our west and south deal with tremors often.
Explosive devices can be carried in a vehicle or by a person, delivered in a package or concealed on the roadside. There are steps you can take to prepare.
There is hot, and then there is HOT! Extreme heat is a period of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees for at least two to three days. In extreme heat your body works extra hard to maintain a normal temperature, which can lead to death. Extreme heat is responsible for the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards.
Floods are the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States.
Learn how we plan for and respond to hazardous materials incidents in New Hanover County.
A fire can become life-threatening in just two minutes. A residence can be engulfed in flames in five minutes. Learn how to be fire safe at home.
Household Chemical Emergencies
Nearly every household uses products containing hazardous materials or chemicals. Knowing how to handle these products can reduce the risk of injury.
Power can go out in a thunderstorm or in a hurricane. It can come back up pretty quickly or it may take a couple of days. Extended power outages may impact the whole community. Here's what to do to be prepared for a power outage.
Public Health and Illnesses
Is it a cold? Or the flu? There are lots of things you can do to avoid getting sick and getting better after an illness. Anyone have a good chicken noodle soup recipe to share?
There are different types of radiation emergencies that vary in how much damage they cause and harm they pose to the public. Some examples of radiation emergencies include: a nuclear detonation (explosion), an accident at a nuclear power plant, a transportation accident involving a shipment of radioactive materials, or an occupational exposure like in a healthcare or research setting. The steps to protect yourself from radiation are the same. You can keep your family safe by knowing what to do and being prepared if an incident occurs. Learn more about the steps that we take along with Duke Energy in planning for the Brunswick Power Station.
No, we are not talking UFOs here. The term “space weather” refers to the variable conditions on the sun and in space that can influence the performance of technology we use on Earth. This can affect GPS devices, disrupt power lines, and damage satellites that help with everything from weather information to commercial communications.
Thunderstorms and Lightning
A few myths busted - lightning never strikes twice in the same place...the tires on a car will protect you from a lightning strike...if you are outside in a thunderstorm, being under a tree is a safe spot to be to stay dry. Wrong, wrong, wrong! It is important to stay aware of quickly developing thunderstorms in our area.
Tornadoes are violently rotating columns of air that extend from a thunderstorm to the ground. We often see tornados associated with tropical cyclone systems as well. Tornadoes can destroy buildings, flip cars, and create deadly flying debris.
Is it a tropical depression or a tropical storm? When do I need to worry about hurricanes? What is a tropical cyclone? Learn about hurricanes, tropical storms, tropical depressions, and tropical waves here.
A tsunami is a series of enormous ocean waves caused by earthquakes, underwater landslides, volcanic eruptions or asteroids. A tsunami can kill or injure people and damage or destroy buildings and infrastructure as waves come in and go out.
There are two kinds of waterspouts - a tornadic waterspout and a fair weather waterspout. Learn about them here.
Wildfires are unplanned fires that burn in natural areas like forests. These dangerous fires spread quickly and can devastate not only wildlife and natural areas, but also communities. Learn how to create a defensible space and protect your family and property.
Although it doesn't happen often, we DO get snow and ice in New Hanover! More often, though, we face periods of extreme cold that you should be prepared for.