WILLIAMSON - Jerry Mounts, the Fire Chief for the City of Williamson (WFD), would like to remind the residents of Mingo County and its surrounding areas that September has been named National Preparedness Month.
The June 2012 Mid Atlantic and Mid-Atlantic severe weather pattern was one of the most destructive and dangerous thunderstorms in North American history. It resulted in 22 deaths, widespread damage and millions of power outages across the affected region including over 672,000 homes and businesses in WV alone, some of who did not have their services restored for 14 days.
Since Sept. is National Preparedness Month, the WFD feels it is the perfect time to make a plan to protect you, your family, home and business. To do so, you must put together an emergency supply kit, and recommendations are that everyone take the time to gather the needed items that will fit each family’s personal needs and specifications.
Consider using the following list to prepare your emergency kit:
Water; at least 1 gallon per day, per person, that will last for at least 3 days of drinking and sanitation. You are recommended to have an appropriate amount of non-perishable food items, enough for at least a 3 day supply, along with a hand-operated can opener. A battery-powered or hand crank radio, a NOAA weather radio and extra batteries are high on the list of importance, and a whistle is also suggested should you have to signal for help.
A dust mask for each person in your household to help filter contaminated air is on the list, and enough plastic sheeting and duct tape to create a shelter in place. You will need to add moist towelettes, hand sanitizer, garbage bags and plastic ties to your kit.
A wrench or set of pliers should be kept in a convenient location in case the need arises to turn off utilities such as gas. Make sure that you keep your prescription medication and eye glasses in a location where they will be easily accessible, as well as pet food and extra water for your dog/cat, and baby formula and diapers if you have an infant in your family.
Cash or travelers checks are suggested should your bank be closed due to power outages and ATM’s being inoperable. Keep important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container or a waterproof safe.
A first-aid instruction manual is something you will want to have on hand, as well as sleeping bags, blankets and several complete changes of clothing for each person including long sleeve shirts, long pants and sturdy shoes. Household chlorine bleach and a medicine dropper is a must, which when diluted 9 parts water to 1 part bleach can be used as a disinfectant, or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular bleach per gallon of water. Do not use bleach that is scented, color safe of that added cleaners.
A fire extinguisher, feminine supplies and personal hygiene items, paper and pens or pencils, books, games, puzzles and activities for children, matches in a waterproof container, paper plates, cups, utensils, paper towels and toilet tissue are additional items that are suggested when preparing your emergency kit.
“We recommend that everyone takes simple steps to prepare for and respond to potential emergencies, including natural disasters like the flooding and power outage events we have all experienced,” stated Mounts. “The three most important steps are to get a kit together, be informed about the different types of emergencies that can occur and the appropriate steps to take if one should arise.”
“Remember the saying; an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”