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Prepare Before A Disaster To Keep Bad Situation From Getting Worse

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Prepare Before A Disaster To Keep Bad Situation From Getting Worse

September is National Preparedness Month, a time for families and individuals to get ready whenever disaster strikes.

Putnam County EMA Director Tyler Smith said whether it is from severe weather or prolonged power outages, you never know how long problems could last. Smith said communication devices, food and water, ways to stay warm should all be in place before a disaster.

“A lot of times people don’t think and they don’t even put a plan together,” Smith said. “They don’t think that it’s going to happen to them and they’re unprepared. Even in your car, you need some type of kit in your car so that if you get stranded.”

Smith said flashlights, blankets and ways to get other peoples attention top the list of must-haves in a car kit. He said keeping sand or kitty litter can be a huge help since it can be used to give a car traction when stuck.

Smith advised not to rely on cellphones for communication, form a plan with family.

“If the cellphone system goes down and you can’t communicate, have a backup plan of where you need to meet in case the phones are down,” Smith said. “If you’re away from your home have a meeting place where you can go to and your family can gather. Even with sheltering, if your home’s affected and you can’t shelter in your home have an alternate area to go to. Another family member’s home or a friend’s home or something to where you can make plans to go and stay safe.”

Smith said to keep a safe, possibly in an alternate location to protect mementos and important documents during a disaster. He said food and water are not the only things to make sure are stocked before an emergency.

“Your medications too, have alternate medications,” Smith said. “In case you cannot get to the drugstore, so that way you’ve got extra medications on hand.”

Smith said people should keep one gallon of water per person, non-perishable food and blankets. He said a preparedness plan should also include batteries, a hand crank radio and even a whistle to get people’s attention.


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