"National Preparedness Month" Continues
COLUMBIA - As the Columbia/Boone County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) continues its observance of the annual "National Preparedness Month", OEM said in a media release Monday it is important to define what constitutes a disaster.
"When we say disaster, that can encompass a wide variety of events," says Interim OEM Director Scott Olsen. "A disaster can be on a small scale such as a house fire that displaces a family, or it could be something as large as widespread severe weather, an earthquake or a terrorist incident. No matter what the disaster, or how large it is, we cannot stress enough the importance of being ready for a disaster. That readiness includes knowing what to do during the event as well as having a plan in the hours, days and even weeks following."
Olsen also stresses the need for preparedness, no matter where you are. "Whether you are at home with the family, at school, at work, or on the road, having a plan is vital. If you know in advance what you will do when and after a disaster strikes and have practiced this plan - personal, family and community recovery is a lot less chaotic."
The Columbia/Boone County Office of Emergency Management said it has a number of publications available which address disaster preparedness and recovery. Links to those publications can be found online. For more information on preparedness, call the office at (573) 874-7400.
The OEM included some disaster preparation tips.
Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit
• One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
• A three-day supply of non-perishable food
• Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
• Flashlight and extra batteries
• First aid kit
• Whistle to signal for help
• Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in- place
• Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
• Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
• Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
• Local maps