“Whatcom Ready” in April

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(Whatcom County, WASH)  A disaster will happen in Whatcom County. How well you and your family survive it depends on your current state of training and “readiness” . Now during April’s Disaster Preparedness Month is a perfect time to think about what you would do if a large disaster were to strike our county.

As the Deputy Director of Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Managment I urge all county residents to take the simple steps we have outlined below, this month: 

1. Get involved
Resilient communities don’t just happen; they are built by individuals working together.

Get to know your neighbors. A trusted friend next door can keep an eye on your property, your family or pets if an emergency keeps you from getting home.

Volunteer to serve on your local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). CERT groups receive training and resources to help address immediate needs, until emergency personnel are able to respond.

Learn CPR and basic first aid
– it can make the difference between life and death for someone close to you.

 2. Make a Plan
This is how you will communicate during an emergency and where you will meet family if separated.

· Establish an out-of-area contact. This should be someone out-of-state that each family member can contact to communicate their well-being.
· Texting will often work, even if phone calls can’t go through.
· If cell towers are down, landline calls may work.
· Long-distance calls often go through when local calls don’t.
· Establish a meeting place near your home where family members will go if it’s not safe to stay in your house or apartment.

 3. Build a Kit
Having basic emergency supplies on hand will not only keep you alive, but more comfortable during the first few days of a disaster. A minimum seven day supply of the following items is recommended:

· Ready-to-eat food
· Water (1 gallon per day, per person)
· Medications and personal hygiene items

You’ll also want to pack:
· Radio (battery-powered or hand-crank style)
· Extra batteries, Flashlight, Whistle, Dust mask, Sturdy shoes and warm clothing, Blanket

Putting these items together in one place will ensure you will have what you need, quickly. You should have emergency kits for your home, vehicle and work or school. A complete emergency kit checklist can be downloaded at http://www.whatcomready.org/preparedness/individual-family-preparedness/ . For more information about emergency planning, visit the Division of Emergency Management web site at http://www.whatcomready.org/preparedness/.

We urge all Whatcom County residents to hope for the best, and prepare for the worse! Now is the time to get Whatcom Ready.

 

Best Regards,

 Kent Catlin

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