The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

September 29, 2013

Ashtabula County EMA wants residents to be prepared

JEFFERSON — Ashtabula County Commissioners presented the Ashtabula County Emergency Management Agency staff with a proclamation in recognition of National Preparedness Month.

The month of September has been designated National Preparedness month and the county EMA is hoping residents will be prepared in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.

The goal of National Preparedness Month is to educate the public about how to prepare for any and all emergencies, including natural disasters, public health emergencies and terrorist attacks.

The Ashtabula County EMA as well as EMA offices across the country are encouraging everyone to take a few basic steps to better prepare themselves for emergencies and disasters. During a disaster, help may not be available for the first 72 hours after an emergency event. It is important to know what to do before, during and after a disaster.

Residents should make sure they follow four basic preparedness steps: Stay informed, build a kit, make a plan and get involved.

Stay Informed

Being prepared means staying informed; learn about the possible hazards that can affect the area and the types of warning systems that may be in place in the community. BUILD A KIT

If disaster strikes, residents might not have access to food, water or electricity for some time. By taking time now to prepare emergency water supplies, food supplies and a disaster supplies kit, residents can provide for the entire family. Even though it is unlikely that an emergency would cut off food supply for two weeks, residents should consider maintaining a supply that will last that long.

Emergency supplies should be kept in an easy-to-carry container and a kit should be kept in each of the places where most time is spent including home, office, school and vehicles.

MAKE A PLAN

Families should make plans in case they are not together during an emergency. Discuss how everyone will get in contact with each other, where to meet and what to do in different situations.

Plan how to assemble family and supplies and anticipate where to go for different situations. Choose several destinations in different directions so there are options in an emergency and know the evacuation routes to get to those destinations.

get involved

Look into taking first-aid courses and any emergency response training offered to the public. Volunteer to support local community organizations such as the Salvation Army, United Way and Red Cross. Residents can also contact the Ashtabula County EMA office to become involved in their local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

For more information on planning for disasters visit www.ready.gov or call the Ashtabula County EMA at 440-576-9148.

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