Be pre­pared

The Daily Herald - - FRONT PAGE - By Susan John­son Susan John­son is re­gional di­rec­tor for the U.S. De­part­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices, Re­gion 10.

In a guest com­men­tary, a fed­eral of­fi­cial urges Wash­ing­to­ni­ans to pre­pare them­selves in case of dis­as­ter

No mat­ter where you live, a nat­u­ral dis­as­ter can strike at any time. Here in the North­west, we’re told to ex­pect the next big earth­quake at any time. Many of our ma­jes­tic moun­tains are dor­mant vol­ca­noes. The nat­u­ral beauty of our forests can turn into hor­ri­ble for­est fires from a care­lessly thrown cig­a­rette butt. Ex­treme win­ter storms are a se­ri­ous risk. Floods are com­mon through­out our re­gion, and we also get the oc­ca­sional tor­nado.

While some­times in­stantly fa­tal, sur­vival of­ten de­pends on whether you are pre­pared.

The Wash­ing­ton State De­part­ment of Health main­tains the Emer­gency Pre­pared­ness web­site with in­for­ma­tion on how to pre­pare for all the above dis­as­ters and more. They also in­clude emer­gency tele­phone num­bers and links to lo­cal health de­part­ments.

Are you and your fam­ily ready for a dis­as­ter? The Cen­ters for Disease Con­trol and Preven­tion of­fers three sim­ple steps to be pre­pared: Get a kit. Make a plan. Be in­formed. Your kit will in­clude items like food and wa­ter, health sup­plies, per­sonal care items, safety sup­plies, elec­tron­ics, im­por­tant doc­u­ments, ex­tra cash and your emer­gency plan.

Your emer­gency plan will in­clude a fam­ily com­mu­ni­ca­tion plan and a fam­ily dis­as­ter plan. Your dis­as­ter plan should in­clude safe spots in your home for dis­as­ters like earth­quakes, mul­ti­ple meet­ing places, and the best es­cape routes from your home. You should prac­tice your con­tin­gen­cies as a fam­ily.

If a fam­ily mem­ber is very young, older, or has spe­cial med­i­cal needs, your plan­ning will need to be more ex­ten­sive. You’ll also need sup­plies for your four-legged fam­ily mem­bers.

You can stay in­formed by sign­ing up for alerts from your emer­gency management agency. A NOAA weather ra­dio (bat­tery-pow­ered, so­lar, or hand-crank) can pro­vide up­dates. The State of Wash­ing­ton’s Emer­gency Management Di­vi­sion pro­vides in­for­ma­tion and Emer­gency Pre­pared­ness Essentials pro­vides a list of lo­cal emer­gency management con­tacts.

Pre­pared­ness will dif­fer de­pend­ing on where you live, in­clud­ing whether you live in an ur­ban or ru­ral area. How­ever, no mat­ter where you live, and what po­ten­tial dis­as­ters you face, you should al­ways be ready. Be­ing pre­pared; it’s not just for Scouts!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.