September is National Preparedness Month, and it’s a great time to make sure your
family has basic plans and supplies in place for potential emergencies. The U.S.
Department of Homeland Security has a great website, Ready.gov, which offers tons of
resources on the essential elements of emergency preparedness including:
– Having a plan, such as a family communication plan, and practicing it.
– Stocking emergency food and supplies in case your family is stuck at home.
– Being aware of the details of different types of emergencies you may experience.
A family emergency plan should cover how you’ll receive emergency alerts and weather
warnings; where you would take shelter; how you would evacuate; and how your family
or household would re-establish communication during/after an emergency. Ready.gov
has templates that make creating your plan simple and easy. In Wood County, you can
get emergency alerts targeted to your location. Sign up here for Code RED via Wood
County Emergency Management Agency: http://woodcountyema.org.
Many households do not have the recommended food, water and supplies stored to
allow them to survive a disaster that could leave them stuck at home. You’ll want at
least three days’ worth of food and 3 gallons of water per person, as well as some
essential supplies like flashlights, phone chargers, plenty of batteries, a can opener, and
more. You can find a basic emergency supply list here; be sure to consider everyone’s
specific medication or dietary needs: http://woodcountyhealth.org/ep/be_ready.html.
During a large-scale emergency, local resources almost always provide the front line of
initial response. You’ll likely rely on your family, friends, neighbors or local agencies for
support if you need it. You can help Wood County be more prepared for disasters by
participating in our Medical Reserve Corps. Organized by Wood County Health
Department, this group can be called on for assistance, and is also a valuable asset
during emergency preparedness planning and exercises. No special background or
experience is required, only that members be at least age 18 and complete some easy
initial training. For more information or to sign up, go to