Event Date: March 09, 2013
Are You Prepared?
Disasters can happen anytime, anywhere. Experts say it’s not a matter of “If”, but “When.” FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said “I encourage everyone to take a few minutes and discuss what you would do in case of an emergency or disaster. The public is the most important member of our nation’s emergency response team and the more the public does to be prepared, the more successful this team will be.”
Being prepared brings peace of mind for you and your loved ones. Spend some time with your family talking about how to be better prepared for various emergency scenarios, as well as practicing the actions you’ll take.
The first thing you’ll need is what’s known as a “72 Hour Kit.” Why 72 hours? Because that’s about how long it’s going to take before the city’s emergency relief vehicles come to rescue you….maybe even longer. Don’t expect the government, a church, or someone else to come to your aid….YOU are responsible for yourself and your family. Get prepared.
If that sounds overwhelming, check out this weekend’s FREE “Emergency Preparedness Fair” where you can learn how to do it all! Classes every 30 minutes will be offered on how to plant a garden, create a “bug out kit” in case of evacuation, save money in a tough economy, cook with food storage, purify water after a disaster, administer first aid, and tons more! There will be a Taster’s Table, expo booths, displays, and live demonstrations from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm. Come and go as you please on March 9, 2013.
The Emergency Preparedness Expo and Provident Living Fair will be held at 221 S. Lorenzi Street. Everyone is welcome.
Here’s one of the first things you can do to get prepared….We can live for three weeks without food, but only three days without water. Finding clean drinking water, therefore, becomes a top priority during a disaster. Because city water may become contaminated during a disaster or completely cut off, you need to have a back-up plan. Experts recommend storing at least three gallons of water per person per day for fourteen days. Water can be stored in glass or durable plastic, refreshing the contents every year. Never store water in metal, vinyl plastic or in containers previously used for chemicals or hazardous material.
You’ll also want to store water treatment supplies, such as unscented bleach, tools for boiling water, and a water filter. Before drinking uncertain source water, you’ll need to disinfect and filter it. History reveals that more people die AFTER a disaster from water-borne diseases than died because of the initial disaster. Even a “Boil Water Alert” from your local city after a simple water main break can feel like a disaster if you’re unprepared.
The following are some steps to treating water to make it more safe for drinking.
- Clarify: Remove debris. If there are a lot of leaves, dirt or other particulate matter in the water source, run the water through a coffee filter, cheese cloth, or piece of fabric.
- Disinfect: Harmful bacteria can be killed by boiling or by chemical disinfection, but both treatments may still leave harmful contaminants, so filtering is required as the final step. Bring water to a boil for five minutes (add one minute for every 1000 feet above sea level). Another way to kill bacteria is to add household bleach to the source water, about 1/8 teaspoon (10 drops) per gallon. Never use scented bleach, and double the amount if your bleach is older than a year. Allow the bleached water to stand for an hour or more before filtering it. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines if using Chlorine tablets instead. Iodine tablets are not recommended anymore.
- Filter: Once your water has been clarified and disinfected, you’ll need to filter it to remove harmful health contaminants, as well as to remove the chlorine taste. Purchase a good NSF certified solid-activated carbon filter. The filter could be your everyday filter or a portable one you could take with you during an evacuation.
Being prepared brings peace of mind for you and your loved ones. Spend some time with your family talking about how to be better prepared for various emergency scenarios, as well as practicing the actions you’ll take. Print out the instructions above and keep them with your water treatment supplies.
For more information, visit http://www.fema.gov/privatesectorpreparedness/