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Don’t wait for disaster to come knocking – prepare now
Imagine being hunkered in your home after a disaster. Power is out, all the usual transit systems are incapacitated, and much of what you own is lost or destroyed. Could you survive for days? Weeks?
A decade ago, parts of Ohio and 10 other states were hit hard by wind gusts from Hurricane Ike in 2008. While it's unlikely that West Chester will ever experience the effects of hurricanes and tropical storms on this scale again, the region is not immune to other natural disasters or crises and emergency preparedness should be on the minds of all residents.
Tornadoes, earthquakes, high winds, crushing winter storms, wildfire, flooding (to an extent), and other man-made crises all loom large here in Southwest Ohio. Often times in these scenarios the best offense is a good defense, backed by planning and preparation.
September is National Preparedness Month (NPM). The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and West Chester local public safety services encourage Americans everywhere to be proactive, now and throughout the year, in preparing for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and visit.
“Being prepared means having food, water and other supplies available to sustain your family for at least 72 hours,” said West Chester Fire Chief Rick Prinz. “Local authorities will do their best to respond to individual needs in a timely manner during times of crisis, but demands for service will have to be prioritized.”
Use this checklist to create and/or re-stock your emergency prep kit:
- Study, water-tight container for storing all materials
- First aid kit and necessary prescription medications
- Multi-tool device
- Extra clothes and blankets
- Dust mask
- Flashlight, matches or lighter
- Bottled drinking water
- Ready-to-eat canned goods
- Peanut butter
- Dried fruit
- Granola or energy bars
- Can opener
- Pet food
- Cell phone and charger
- AM/FM radio and weather radio
- Add phone numbers to Communicator, Butler County's Emergency Notification System.
- Connect with West Chester on Nextdoor, Twitter, and Facebook.
- Subscribe to the community e-newsletter.
- Create your family emergency communications plan.
- Carry maps – township, county and state.
- Keep paper copies of insurance policies, identification, bank account records, and other important family documents in water-proof containers.
- Keep cash with your plan in case debit/credit card ATMs are down.
Once your kit is complete, it is important that the kit is updated and inspected at least once each year.
For a complete supply list of emergency prep kit supplies, visit www.ready.gov/build-a-kit.