Disaster Preparedness

— Written By Donna Tulley

Mother Nature has been busy recently and caught a few people off guard. We are fortunate to live here in the mountains, but we are not immune from disasters. We can still experience flooding from the aftermath of a hurricane. We can have severe storms that knock out power for extended periods of time and down trees. We have experienced sudden winter storms that made travel impossible. We experienced the effects of wild fires. Are you prepared?

September is National Preparedness Month and a great time to stop and think about what you would do in the event of a severe weather event or disaster. Does your family have an Emergency Plan? A Communication Plan? An Emergency Kit? What do you really need? When should you put it together? What does your insurance cover? What will you do with your pets? Are you tapped into an emergency alert system? Through Clay County Health Department’s partnership with Nixle 360, you may sign up to receive real time emergency alerts based on where you live. Registration information may be found on the Clay County Health Department website at http://www.clayhdnc.us/public-health-emergencies/

Extension and FEMA can help you with more answers. At this year’s 11th Annual Tractor Parade/Ag Day, Extension will have information, check lists and forms to help you with your Emergency Planning. FEMA has a wealth of information online at http://www.ready.gov/. Emergency contact lists and communication plans contain important information that may be used for many events other than weather disasters. Many of the things you will need for your kit are non-perishable and may be stored long term. People rush to buy bottled water. Why? You can get freezer baggies, fill them with water and store them in your freezer. They now serve multiple purposes. You have a source of water AND a way to help keep your food cold OR a compress for injuries. A little thought and planning will provide you and your family with peace of mind and the confidence that you can make it through an emergency.

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