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Are You Prepared?

Doug Hartline, RS, Co-Emergency Management Director

Redding has now endured three week-long power outages. All of us saw how devastating these storms were, experiencing first hand the inconvenience of what it’s like to live without hot water, lights, heat, computers, TV, refrigerators, and all the power dependent items we routinely use.

It should now be more evident then ever that each one of us has a responsibility to recognize we each have a role in preparing for the unexpected. Those who procrastinate with their emergency preparation plans and supplies could find themselves having to leave the comfort of their homes for lodging elsewhere. That’s when we realize there’s “no place like home”.

As a quick assessment as to where you stand with your preparedness have a look at the questions below. If you are able to respond “yes” to all of them, you are to be commended for safeguarding your family for the unexpected.

  • Do you have at least one weeks worth of food and water on hand for your household, including pets?
  • Do you have enough water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets? You may not have enough fore-notice to fill a bath tub.
  • Have you sat down together with your family and decided how you will get in contact with each other, and where you will meet if you get separated?
  • Have you pre-arranged for a place to stay (locally, regionally, and out of state) if you are asked to evacuate? Hotels fill up quickly during a large event.
  • Do you have travel bedding (sleeping bags, blankets, air mattresses) for all family members should your family need to vacate your dwelling and sleep elsewhere?
  • Do you have enough flashlights with spare batteries for all family members to last a week? Do NOT use candles!
  • Do you have cash on hand (small bills) because the ATM may not work?
  • Do you have enough of your prescription drugs, spare contact lenses, hearing aid batteries and personal items to last a week?
  • Do you have enough baby formula, food, diapers, and wipes to last a week?
  • Have you signed up to receive emergency updates by registering with CTAlert.gov? Those signed up automatically receive messages and directives from State and Town officials.

If you are prepared to be self sufficient then you and your family will be able to “ride out the storm” in the most comfortable place, your home. It’s worth the effort.

More detailed preparedness information can be found at www.ready.gov and www.fema.gov.

Click here to open a PDF of the Emergency Communications Plan.  Complete it with your information and refer to it in an emergency.

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