Thursday, September 19, 2013

Planning for emergencies - be ready for a disaster

September is National Emergency Preparedness Month. Like our post on Facebook to be entered to win one of two emergency kits!*

Not all disasters come with warning labels. Don’t just think about the likelihood of the “big one” or a catastrophic event happening in our community. Think about the events that are most likely to happen in Washington County that present a certain risk that we all need to be prepared for - such as ice or wind storms with extended power outages, winter storms that bring flooding to area ponds, streams and rivers that may isolate your office or home and make roads impassable.

Making a personal emergency plan and kit does not need to be difficult. Take it in manageable bits - add to it each month until you have all of the components assembled. There are many easy items to add from the outset to pack in your kit, such as:
  • A first aid kit
  • Bottled water
  • Photocopy important documents and secure in a water tight zip lock bag:
    • Library card - makes it easy to contact friends/family or do business on-line at the library after an emergency
    • Personal identification and/or driver’s license
    • Insurance card
    • Medical insurance and prescriptions

According to Sue Mohnkern, Public Health Preparedness Program Supervisor with the Washington County Dept. of Health and Human Services, “if you own camping equipment you have a great head-start to making your kit. Just remember to store your equipment in an easily accessible place—not buried in your attic. Store emergency kits in the corner of your garage or an outside shed for easy access.”

Learn how to build your emergency kit and get ready for  at ready.gov. Washington County's Emergency Preparedness site is a good resource for local information.

*Details on the emergency kit: Quakehold! Grab-'n-Go 3 Day Emergency Kit (for two people). WCCLS staff and member library staff are not eligible to win. Winners will be drawn randomly, and must have a valid WCCLS library card in good standing. Like our Facebook post up until 11:59 pm on October 31st to be entered to win.