National Preparedness Month…are you prepared?

By: 
Ron Craig

September is National Preparedness Month. Please note that this title does not say anything about weather. That is done on purpose, nor does it single out any other type of emergency.
September was declared by the federal government as a way to spur the public into becoming prepared for a variety of issues that we need to be prepare for, including weather problems, nuclear disasters, electrical grid problems and any other issues that could mean we need to shelter in place for an extended period of time.
If you are one of the lucky ones who have a generator, you are one step ahead of the game. You are two steps ahead of the game if you have one large enough to keep the whole house running for several days, such as one powered by natural gas or diesel fuel. For example, my aunt and uncle have a generator powered by natural gas. This generator kicks in automatically should there be an interruption in the electrical feed.
You will need to stock up on provisions, most notably canned goods that don’t need to be refrigerated or heated up. Put some thought into the type of canned goods you want to put aside for this purpose. About five days of provisions should be adequate.
Please don’t forget water. You may want to set aside several gallons of water for use in such circumstances.
Don’t forget a radio, preferably one that has a hand crank to power it. If you don’t have a hand crank one, make sure you have plenty of batteries.
Cell phones may be useless in some cases, especially if the power goes out to the towers. You should have a cell phone charger and keep a few external batteries if you have them. If you still have an old-fashioned “landline” telephone, this is one case it may come in handy.
Get some clothes together, and jackets and coats are recommended if the weather is chilly or cold. You can always take clothes off if the weather is hot or warm. Give some thought to where you will store these items. You may want to consider the basement if you have one. Regardless, keep things together so you don’t have to scramble to get them together if you need them in a hurry.
I can’t give you all the information you will need to get through an emergency in this one article. You may contact Jeff Klein, director of Wood County’s Emergency Management Agency, at 419-354-9269 during regular business hours for more information.
This article is a public service from the Community Policing/Crime Prevention Division of the Lake Township Police Department. Township residents may obtain further information on crime prevention and public safety topics by contacting Ron Craig, crime prevention specialist/community policing officer, at 419-481-6354.

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