Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Emergency Telephone Numbers listing


Q: I have some old paint, paint thinner and motor oil to dispose of. Where can I take it?
A: The City/County Utility Commission sponsors a permanent household hazardous waste disposal facility. The 3RC EnviroStation is located across the street from Bowman Gray Stadium at 1401 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Winston-Salem. You may contact the facility direct to find out what other household wastes they will accept and the hours of operation. The number is 336-784-4300. Also, some of the major auto parts stores in the county will accept used motor oil for disposal at no cost.

Q: I have some building materials containing asbestos. Where can I dispose of it?
A: Contact the Forsyth County Department of Environmental Affairs at 336-727-8064.

Q: Sewage is running across my neighbor's backyard and over into my yard. What should I do?
A: Call the City of Winston-Salem, Utilities Division at 336-650-7650.

Q: What protective actions should I take in the event of a tornado?
A: The majority of injuries and deaths related to tornadoes occur as a result of flying debris, the collapse of buildings, or being caught in an automobile. The best protection during a tornado is in an interior room on the lowest level of a building, such as a basement or storm cellar. Mobile homes and automobiles are particularly vulnerable and should be avoided. If outdoors, a low area (away from trees) such as a drainage ditch or culvert should be sought for protection.

Q: What type supplies should I keep on hand for emergency situations?
A: It is recommended that a disaster supplies kit for your home and automobile be maintained at all times, with enough provisions to survive, unassisted, for at least 72 hours. A typical kit for your home would include non-perishable food including specialty items for babies and the elderly, water (one gallon per person, per day), first aid kit, basic protective clothing and bedding, fire extinguisher, tool kit, extra medication, battery powered flashlight and radio with extra batteries, disposable plates and eating utensils, sanitation and personal hygiene supplies, plastic sheeting, duct tape, rope and plain chlorine bleach (for water disinfection).

Q: How do I find out if my house is located in a flood zone?
A: Copies of FEMA's Flood Insurance Rate Maps are available in the reference section of the Forsyth County Public Library on West 5th Street, and at the Office of Emergency Management 336-767-6161. In addition, Internet users can access this information through Forsyth County's Tax Assessor's Geo-Data Explorer web site.

Q: If public shelters are opened in Forsyth County for severe weather conditions, how do I find out where they are, when to go and what to take with me?
A: If public shelters are opened, or planned to be opened, the information will be put out by the media with details regarding when to go, where to go, if transportation will be provided to get there, and information on what to bring with you (i.e. sleeping bag, your medications, change of clothes, etc.)

Q: If I am deaf or have special medical needs, do I go to a regular public shelter?
A: Persons with impairments, who are self-sufficient and capable of performing activities of daily living without assistance, would go to a general public shelter. Those with special needs that would require assistance with medical care or personal care, would be sheltered in a Special Needs Shelter. Information on Special Needs Shelters will be made available to the media or you may contact the Special Operations Response Team(SORT) for inquiries. The number is 336-759-3924.

Hazardous Materials

Q: What are the SARA and NC Right to Know reporting requirements for Forsyth County?
A: The minimum requirements state that having at least 55 gallons or 500 pounds of any hazardous material on site requires reporting. Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHS) fall under the Federal guidelines for Threshold Planning Quantities (TPQ) of the Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act (SARA).

Q: Who is required to report under SARA?
A: Federal and State laws require facilities that manufacture, store, or use hazardous materials to report to the SERC, the LEPC, and the local fire department, if 55 gallons or 500 pounds of any hazardous material requiring a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is present on-site. However, if the chemical is considered by the EPA to be an Extremely Hazardous Substance (EHS), the reportable quantity falls to the Threshold Planning Quantity (TPQ) for each chemical, which may be lower. Also exceeding the TPQ of certain Extremely Hazardous Materials may require further actions of the facility operators.

Q: When is the deadline for submitting Tier Two reports?
A: Inventory reports for a calender year are to be submitted not later than March 1st of the following calendar year. For chemical reporting assistance in Forsyth County, contact the Hazardous Materials Coordinator, WS/FC Office of Emergency Management at 336-767-6161.

Q: What is the reporting requirement for the N.C. Right to Know legislation?
A: The reporting requirement is annually following the initial submission. A reporting form is available on the Hazardous Materials and Disposal Information page of this web site. 

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