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Press Release Detail

Thursday, October 30, 2014  08:51

Issued: Thursday, September 02, 2010  00:00
Version#

Staying Prepared

 

Staying Prepared
   Many of us have been following the story of Hurricane Earl and the impending evacuation along the North Carolina Coast. Coordination and preparation between the general population and the State and local governmental agencies is essential for this huge endeavor. Advance notification to the citizens is needed with a minimum 48 hour lead time. Personal severe weather and disaster planning by the citizens helps to reduce the stress, confusion and last minute preparation issues. Local radio, television and news media reports and the messages from the various Emergency Management offices need to be clear, concise and coordinated so conflicting messages are avoided. Evacuation routes need to preplanned, marked and monitored during the event and governmental officials need to accept the responsibility and make the necessary timely and difficult decisions to protect their citizens.
 All of this is occurring far from the Pacific Northwest yet the scenario is very familiar. Huge winter storms have impacted the County, major flooding occurs far too often and even the possibility of an evacuation could take place with the knowledge of a large distant Tsunami heading our way. Grays Harbor County Emergency Management, State, County, City and Tribal governments, law enforcement, fire and emergency response agencies meet regularly, conduct disaster exercises and discuss coordination and notification procedures for the citizens and all essential personnel. The joint cooperation and coordination allows each entity to understand the expected actions of their neighboring community and how it will impact them. The preparation allows all involved to work towards better response planning, better notification to all citizens and a quicker end to the impact of the event upon the citizens, business, critical infrastructure and government.
   The most important thing to remember about any weather related or disaster event is personal and business preparation. Become Pro-Active in preparation. Those prepared reduce the impact of the event significantly. Those unprepared, risk the loss of property, their home, pets, livestock and possibly the injury or death of a family member. The ESSENTIAL PREPARATION ITEMS include:
1)       Obtain an All Hazard Weather Radio, program it to the proper frequency and change the batteries in it every time we change the clocks. (next time change is Nov. 7th)
2)      Sign up for the Grays Harbor County Notification System (You’ll receive a text message, phone call and an e-mail with information about any severe weather or disaster related issue)
3)      Find out where the closest shelter or safe haven is located and practice moving to that area with your entire family.
4)      All members of your family should have a person to call outside of Grays Harbor County to inform of their situation in the event they are separated from your family during an emergency or weather situation.
5)      Prepare a GO-KIT backpack with:  ** These are minimal amounts **
a)       an AM/FM battery operated portable radio
b)      Flashlight
c)       1- 2 bottles of water for each person and for each pet in the household.
d)      Matches in a waterproof container (plastic bag)
e)      Snack bars for your family and a small plastic bag of food for each pet
f)       Pocket knife
g)      A sweatshirt or light jacket for each member
h)      Disposable rain poncho for each member of your family
i)        Hand warmer packets
j)        Package of sanitary wipes
 
For more information on becoming PRO-ACTIVE in preparation and to sign up for the Grays Harbor County Notification System, please go to the Grays Harbor County Emergency Management website at: http://www.co.grays-harbor.wa.us/info/DEM/Index.asp , e-mail us at ghcdem@co.grays-harbor.wa.us or call (360) 249-3911.