This is the first part of a new series of columns designed to help local residents prepare, step-by-step, a lifelong emergency preparedness plan.
Experts are now recommending that instead of the standard three days’ worth of emergency supplies, each and every person should have a two-week supply.
The task of buying supplies, gathering the documents and preparing for the contingencies of an emergency or disaster are an overwhelming and daunting task when looking at the big picture.
But taken one step at a time, by following suggestions by local experts and those trained in emergency preparedness, residents can be ready to be as self-sufficient as possible.
The first topic is location. Where are your supplies located?
Emergency supplies should be available in the event of an emergency if you must stay in place but also such that you could quickly grab them and evacuate.
There are three locations emergency supplies should be located: in the home, office and each vehicle. Chances are, if an emergency strikes, you and your loved ones are going to be able to access one or more of those areas.
In the home, a small area in a closet should be set aside for supplies. There should be a means of carrying some or most of the supplies, such as a backpack and duffle bags.
In the office, a drawer or a locker should have the space for a few basics such as sturdy shoes and socks. Other items would include a flashlight, some water and canned food.
In the car, there should be another emergency kit in a tote or backpack.
This week, clear out a space in a closet or drawer and find a tote for each vehicle in your household. Find extra duffle bags, backpacks or suitcases and place them in the new storage areas.
Visit secondhand stores for backpacks and such if there are none lying around the house. How to fill them will come in the next installment.
Also, consider taking CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training.
The program is about readiness, people helping people, rescuer safety and doing the greatest good for the greatest number.
To become CERT trained, volunteers must attend all 20 hours of classes. There is no cost for the training.
Local classes take place at Living Waters Church on Reche Road.
According to the North County (NC) CERT Web site, the group is dedicated to “benefiting the communities and empowering families and neighborhoods in time of need, building a bridge of hope should ever time of need arise, <and> showing goodwill to all mankind.”
For more information on NC CERT, visit http://www.northcountycert.com or contact coordinator James Beebe at (760) 723-2010 or (760) 644-1184.
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