By Paula Larson, Safety, Security & Emergency Preparedness Coordinator
September has been designated National Preparedness Month. This year’s theme is “Be Prepared, Not Scared.” Being prepared can reduce the fear and anxiety that often accompanies a disaster. Being prepared can also reduce the impact of that disaster on you, your home and your community. Disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives every year and can occur anywhere. Each disaster has a lasting effect on both people and property.
Earthquakes and tsunamis are not the only disasters that can affect our area. Wind storms, major utility outages, flooding, wildfires and landslides are more likely than an earthquake. CMH has an all-hazards Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). It covers all hazards that may affect the hospital.
Just like our EOP, you should create a plan for your own household. Practice your plan with all members of the household. Next, make an emergency kit. Create a “go bag” with enough supplies for every member of your household, including your pets. Kits should include a minimum of 72 hours worth of food, water, first aid supplies, medication, clothing, bedding and sanitation supplies. Other items such as tools, battery-operated radios, flashlights (glow sticks), matches, whistles, cash, can openers, utility shut off tools, water purifier straws, pet supplies, infant supplies, and/or other unique items needed for your household should be included. If a disaster occurs, disaster-relief organizations and government agencies will try to help, but that help may not arrive for several days or weeks. FEMA is now suggesting having enough supplies on hand to be “two-weeks ready.”
Happy National Preparedness Month! What can you do today to be prepared for an emergency situation? Remember — be prepared, not scared.
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