Monday, May 9, 2011

We're Preparing. Are You?

On Tuesday, May 10, 2011, employees of the City of Hillsboro, along with those in numerous other cities in Washington County and county emergency managers, will conduct a countywide disaster drill. Dubbed “Sheer Dynamics,” it’s a practice run at handling a major disaster caused by extremely high winds and accompanied by flooding. While the drill is to test the processes of intergovernmental communication, coordinating scarce resources and informing the public, it is a good reminder for citizens to take a few minutes to do some preparation around your home in the event of a disaster.
Here are a few good tips to get you prepared in the event of an area-wide disaster:
1. Develop a communication plan
a. In some cases, such as severe earthquake and high winds, our communications systems could be heavily damaged. Have a backup plan to communicate with your family members if they are caught scattered across town. Collect and distribute to all family members the phone numbers of the most logical places where your family members will be on a given day. Distribute those numbers to all family members.
b. Select an out-of-state family member or friend as your emergency contact for information exchange. Often, local phone systems may be overloaded or damaged too severely to make a local call. But, if you can get a dial tone, you can frequently make a long distance call.
2. Create a Disaster Kit -- It’s often called a 72-hour kit because it should contain emergency supplies to last your entire family for at least three days. (Recommendation: Make a kit for one week!) Your kit should contain:
a. Food – select food that will last a long time on the shelf but will be readily eaten by all members of your family for three to seven days
b. Water – one gallon per person per day (don’t forget pets!) You can live for weeks without food, but only a few days without water!
c. Medicines – an emergency supply of medicines are essential, especially if you have a serious medical condition.
d. Battery-powered radio
e. Flashlights with spare batteries
f. Money (ATMs are useless when the power has failed )
3. Get to know your neighbors -- Determine their capabilities and resources and create a plan to pool and share scare resources, such as chain saws or four-wheel drive vehicles. Also, plan to check on and render assistance to elderly or sick neighbors.

There are many more tips on surviving a disaster at Simply click on Emergency Preparedness.

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