Archive 2008 - 2019

Civics Sunday: September is Emergency Preparedness Month

by The Publishers

Hurricane Dorian is fresh in our minds and the Farmer's Almanac predicts a very snowy winter for this region.  

Continuing our theme of being alert and prepared for emegencies started last week with Civics Sunday: Are You Connected? we bring together some tips for safely weathering servere storms.


"Residents Encouraged to Prepare During Emergency Preparedness Month" - Press Release

FRAMINGHAM – September 3, 2019.

"Governor Charlie Baker has proclaimed September 2019 as Emergency Preparedness Month to encourage individuals and families to prepare for emergencies and disasters. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), the Department of Public Health (DPH), and the American Red Cross in Massachusetts, together with their partners will promote emergency preparedness throughout the month through various outreach initiatives. These efforts are part of a month-long nationwide preparedness campaign to encourage residents to take simple steps to better prepare themselves, their homes, their businesses, and their communities. . . “The best defense for an emergency is being properly prepared,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. . . "During September, MEMA, DPH and the Red Cross will share information on their respective social media accounts about emergency preparedness topics including financial preparedness, emergency planning, youth preparedness, planning for those with access and functional needs, ways to get involved in community preparedness, and more. These agencies and organizations will host a joint Facebook Live preparedness event on September 9th." (Tomorrow)

Fire Chief Michael Cassidy recommends the following sites / information to be prepared for whatever disaster may befall us.  There is some overlap among these lists and yet each list offers several unique ideas / steps.

Basic Disaster Supplies Kit 

To assemble your kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

  • Water - one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food - at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

The Red Cross offers the following guidance:

Be Red Cross Ready It’s as easy as 1-2-3! Getting prepared may sound difficult or time consuming but – with a little help from the Red Cross – its actually very doable.

1. Get a Kit Learn the essential supplies to put in your family’s survival kit.

2. Make a Plan Plan effectively for you and your family in case of an emergency.

3. Be Informed Understand which disasters are likely to occur in your area and what you must know to stay safe.

AARP offers this advice - not just for senior citizens!

Photo by Nick Ferrari; Illustration by Joel Holland

"1. Basic electronics Pack an extra phone charger in case you’re fortunate enough to have electricity, and a portable battery pack in case you’re not. Also stash a long-lasting LED flashlight. Pack a small hand-cranked or battery-operated AM/FM radio (with extra batteries).

2. Personal needs While getting ready for a typical day, list every toiletry you use, then buy a travel-size version of each. Pack backup eyeglasses, as well as a first-aid kit, baby wipes and a multipurpose tool with a knife and can opener.

3. Clothing Pack a few days’ worth. Include layers you can add or remove, plus lightweight rain gear and waterproof boots.

4. Your meds Pack about three days’ worth of each of your prescriptions, which should last until you can get to a pharmacy that’s open. If you need larger items, such as an oxygen tank, make sure you have a portable version.

5. The perfect bag
Think small and portable. A backpack is ideal, but a lightweight suitcase with wheels will also do. Just remember, you may literally be running with it.

6. Paperwork Fill a zip-top waterproof bag with photocopies of your birth certificate; driver’s license; Social Security and Medicare cards; power of attorney and will; any marriage, adoption or naturalization certificates; proof of address; insurance, medical and immunization records; and information about your credit and ATM cards.

7. Food and drink Bottled water is essential. Granola or energy bars are great because they are small and filling, and they come in a variety of flavors.

8. Cash In addition to enough money for a few days, include small bills and a roll of quarters. If you need to buy something out of a vending machine, you don’t want to start asking equally desperate strangers for change.

Jeff Rossen is NBC News’ national investigative correspondent and the author of the new survival and fraud-fighting book Rossen to the Rescue."

The National Safety Council recommends the following general precautions that apply to many disaster situations:

  • Download the FEMA app for resources, weather alerts and safety tips
  • Make sure to have a family communication plan in place; all members of the family should review and practice the plan
  • Have all family members' and other important phone numbers written down or memorized
  • Have an emergency kit in your car and at least three days of food and water at home
  • Be sure to store all important documents – birth certificates, insurance policies, etc. – in a fire-proof safe or safety deposit box
  • Assign one family member the responsibility of learning first aid and CPR
  • Know how to shut off utilities

Below is a picture of the Publishers' emergency kit - which we thought was above average - prior to researching this article .  While we could scrounge around the house to get many of the other recommended items - in a true emergency that may not be possible.  I think we need a bigger box!

Thank you Chief Cassidy for helping us all be better prepared for whatever might come our way in the coming months.

Comments (1)

This is a great collection of information. Thank you. ????????

Henry Dellicker | 2019-09-08 05:04:13