Emergency workers urge Owen countains to be ready

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By David Lilly
For the News-Herald
Local firefighters, EMTs and members of the Owen County first responder community are urging local people to be prepared in case of an emergency.
Here are some tips:
Communities can be impacted by several types of hazards during a lifetime. Americans also travel more than ever before; to areas impacted by hazards they may not be at risk of near their homes. Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.  Safety is necessary when experiencing all hazards, whether this means sheltering or evacuating. Developing a family communications plan or making an emergency supply kit are the actions you can take.  When you know what to do, you can plan with your household and prepare in advance to be ready.  Before a disaster, learn how you will know there is an impending hazardous event. Familiarize yourself with the signs of events that come without warning.

Make a Plan
Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes so it is important to plan in advance: how you will get to a safe place; how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations.Ready.gov has made it simple for you to make a family emergency plan.  You should also inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school, faith organizations, sports events and commuting.  Talk to community leaders, your colleagues, neighbors and members of faith or civic organizations about how you can work together in the event of an emergency.

A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.  Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.  You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours.  Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.

There are many ways to “Get Involved” especially before a disaster occurs.  The whole community can participate in programs and activities to make their families, homes and communities safer from risks and threats.  Community leaders agree the formula for ensuring a safer homeland consists of volunteers, a trained and informed public and increased support of emergency response agencies during disasters. Major disasters can overwhelm first responder agencies, empowering individuals to lend support.  Here are a few ways you can help:  Volunteer to support disaster efforts in your community. Get trained and volunteer with a Community Emergency Response Team, Medical Reserve Corps unit and/or other Citizen Corps Partner Program or Affiliate organization.  Many local faith-based and community organizations have programs active in supporting disasters too.