The Portsmouth and Scioto County Health departments are promoting the Ready Campaign for National Preparedness Month (NPM), which provides information and resources should an emergency arise.
Susan Smith, emergency response coordinator of the Portsmouth and Scioto County Health departments, said preparation for emergencies is paramount.
“We actually got started last week letting people know that we are promoting National Preparedness Month, and then each week it will change to a different topic,” Susan Smith said. “For instance next week it will deal with preparing family and friends. Being prepared is very critical, in a case like a severe weather event that is lasting several hours, such as in the winter time. It is good to have a preparedness kit together.”
Having resources such as blankets, flash lights, battery-powered radios, pre-packaged, non-perishable foods, cellular phones should an emergency situation occur are among supplies named by Susan Smith.
“You want to have things like this in your possession are extremely important, for situations like the severe winter storm that we had here in our area about two years ago when we had 10 or 11 inches of snow, and a lot of people were trapped inside of their homes for possibly a day or so,” Smith said. “It is just important to have those supplies on hand just in case you would be isolated for a time, and possibly without power, or your gas would not be working and something would happen you would need to have those things with you in order to keep your family safe until someone could reach you, or you could actually dig yourself out of a snow storm. If it is a weather related event, and there are trees across the road you might have to wait until someone comes to you or until you can go to them with a chainsaw and get the trees up.
“We are just trying to get people to realize the importance of getting these items together that they need, and these you need to carry in your car so that they will be ready should any type of crisis occur.”
Debbie Smith, executive director of Ohio River Valley American Red Cross, said they promote the importance of being prepared for a fire with information and resources.
“As always, one of the things that we feel is very important to be prepared with is having smoke detectors. People can get free smoke detectors from the Red Cross by just giving us a call,” Debbie Smith said. “Another thing that we do is when we install the smoke detectors we go through and make sure they have enough in their home, and we go through a lot of important safety tips with them too. So there are a lot of great safety tips that we can share to be prepared. .
Additionally, Debbie Smith said they provide flyers and information at the local Red Cross office, at 1801 Robinson Ave., in Portsmouth.
“With like to share this information with our community, and are welcome to stop by the Red Cross office and get information on having an emergency kit in your home, and what should be in the kit,” Debbie Smith said. “There are a lot of things that we like to do and share with the community. All of these services are free of charge, and are made possible by all of the fundraising events that we have in the community to not only be able to support disaster response, but also to help lift disaster preparedness.
Smoke detectors can save lives, something the ORV Red Cross seeks to help with.
“It can definitely make the difference in saving a life by having these important things such as smoke detectors and emergency kits,” Debbie Smith said. “So it is very important because smoke detectors do save lives and seven times a day, someone dies in a U.S. home fire, so we want to help change those numbers.”
The Ready Campaign 2016 Weekly Themes to Promote NPM:
Aug. 28-Sept. 3 – Kickoff to National Preparedness Month
Week 2: Sept. 4-10 – Preparing Family & Friends Make a Family Emergency Communication Plan
Week 3: Sept. 11-17 – Preparing Through Service, Honor 9/11 by Getting involved in your community & planning with neighbors.
Week 4: Sept. 18-24 – Individual Preparedness, Take individual steps to prepare for a disaster today like downloading the FEMA app.
Week 5: Sept. 25-30 – Lead up to National PrepareAthon Day
For more information regarding NPM visit the website: www.ready.gov/september
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.