The power is out, the water is off, and the cell phone isn’t working. Severe weather is fast approaching.
What would you do if disaster struck? Do you have an emergency kit in your house? Are you prepared?
Many Douglas County residents are better prepared after attending the annual Douglas County Disaster Preparedness Fair on Saturday, September 29th. Those in attendance received information about planning for an emergency along with an emergency kit items from a number of local agencies.
Upon entering the fair, participants received emergency preparedness “starter buckets.” Participants carried the buckets to each booth and received addition preparedness kits items.
The buckets were donated by Berry Plastics and were part of the Plan 9 campaign being conducted by Together Prepared. Plan 9 is a campaign that addresses the nine essential items to help people shelter-in-place in the event of an emergency.
Together Prepared received donations for the emergency preparedness starter buckets from 11 area businesses and organizations. Donated items included: bandages, non-latex gloves, bottled water, food, soap and an emergency whistle.
Charlie Bryan, community health planner at the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, represented Together Prepared at the fair. “Seeing people walk from booth to booth with buckets in hand was like watching Halloween come early. Only this time, the treats were truly good for you,” Bryan said in describing the festive atmosphere at the fair.
After making their rounds, participants left with much more than the Plan 9 items, thanks to the generosity of other organizations participating in the event that also donated kit items, as they do every year.
“Our emergency responders do an incredible job of keeping us safe, but in significant disasters they cannot do it alone or reach everyone immediately,” Bryan said. “We must all take personal responsibility to be prepared and be ready to survive on our own for at least 72 hours after an emergency. That’s why building emergency preparedness kits is critical.”
Together Prepared exists as a coalition of agencies formed in 2007 to ensure that vulnerable populations in Douglas County, Kansas are included in emergency planning.
Additional information about preparing for emergencies is available from the Douglas County Department of Emergency Management website.