“Be prepared for at least three days in the event an emergency or disaster causes you to be self-reliant,” Dee Totten, Woodinville Fire & Rescue Emergency Manager stated. “Everyone should be ready to function independently for a minimum of three days without utilities and electricity, water service, access to a supermarket and possibly without response from police, fire or rescue.”
Family members should also have a plan for how they will respond and reconnect after an emergency or disaster — remember, cell phone communications are usually jammed quickly after an emergency or disaster.
Totten, participating along with City of Woodinville’s Administrative Team, Alexandra Sheeks and Zach Schmitz, are in the midst of a public relations campaign to get the “Preparedness” message out to citizens as part of September’s National Preparedness Month. The trio is currently distributing information on emergency preparedness to our community.
“Preparedness is a shared responsibility,” Totten said. “It takes a whole community. This September marks the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. We will remember those lost, honor our first responders and renew our commitment to prepare and plan for emergencies and disasters.
“Being prepared means staying informed, knowing how to get information and alerts from local, state and federal agencies and understanding the specific risks in your community and preparing against them,” Totten said. “We’re taking steps as an organization to become better prepared and to help you prepare, and we urge you to take time to do the same at home, at work, for your car and for your pets to create a more disaster resistant community.”
What should individuals and families have in an emergency supply kit? Here are some of the suggested items:
— One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days for drinking, and 5 gallons to include sanitation needs;
— At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food and non-electric can opener, for foods that you like to eat;
— Wind-up or battery-powered radio and a NOAA weather radio (have extra batteries for both);
— Lightsticks or flashlight and extra batteries;
— Whistle to signal for help;
— Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place (protection from air-born contaminants);
— Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation;
— Medical information, prescription medications and extra glasses;
— Cash; and
— Local maps.
Those are the basics, but some items citizens may also want to consider adding are:
— Infant formula and diapers and special supplies for the elderly;
— Pet food and extra water for your pet;
— Copies of important family documents (insurance policies, identification, bank records);
— First aid material
— Sleeping bag or warm blanket;
— Complete change of clothing, including a long-sleeve shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes, additional clothes in cold-weather climates (get ready for winter);
—Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper (In an emergency you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleachers with added cleaners);
— Fire extinguisher and know how to work one (PASS system);
— Matches in a waterproof container;
— Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities;
— Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items;
— Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels;
— Paper and pencils; and
— Books, games, puzzles and other activities for children.
Individuals and families should also consider having additional emergency kits — one full kit for home and a smaller portable kit to “grab & go” if required to leave the home quickly — one to have in the workplace and one for your vehicle(s).
The City of Woodinville currently has a Preparedness display case presentation in City Hall for citizens who want to view it first hand during September, National Preparedness Month.
Woodinville Fire & Rescue will hold a Safety Fair on October 29 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Station 31, the Main Fire Station, at 17718 Woodinville Snohomish Road. All citizens are welcome to attend to learn more about all-hazards preparedness and participate in some fun activities.
Please look for more website information in the weeks ahead about our 2011 Safety Fair special features.
More preparedness information and sources are available from websites such as:
Federal: www.ready.gov; State of Washington: http://www.emd.wa.gov/preparedness/prep_personal_preparedness.shtml; King County: http://3days3ways.org.