Ready for anything

Community agencies offer a day of emergency preparedness workshops

Community agencies offer a day of emergency preparedness workshops

August 12, 2002

Are you ready? Batteries, flashlight, disaster kit?

For what? - you may ask as you go about your busy, busy life, job, home, running kids to baseball practice and ballet lessons.

For anything, is the answer.

Stuff happens - severe weather, floods, chemical spills, fire.

You may scoff at the thought of the Tri-State area being a target for terrorists. But weren't you relieved that local experts took anthrax hoaxes seriously and checked out suspicious packages?

No one can prevent a hurricane, a lightning bolt or tornado. But wouldn't it be a good idea to know what's happening and how you can best protect and take care of yourself should disaster strike?


A Citizens' Emergency Preparedness Day, Saturday, Aug. 17, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Robinwood Medical Center will provide information that can help you be ready for a long list of unpleasant situations you don't like to think about but should.

The offerings are comprehensive. All bases will be covered. Community agencies - "Partners in Preparedness" - are coming together to let people know what they can do as individuals. They also will let people know what community safeguards, policies and plans are ready to be put into action when needed.

"Emergency preparedness is everyone's responsibility," says Verna Brown, Emergency Management Agency coordinator, who has organized the event.

The effort is a local spin-off of President George W. Bush's call for communities to be prepared for emergencies, says Joe Kroboth, Department of Emergency Services director. He also received calls from a couple of citizens wanting to know what they could do.

The Aug. 17 event provides one-stop shopping answers in a day of workshops, seminars and classes and an opportunity to learn about and get involved in organizations and agencies that rely on community volunteers.

There will be programs for adults, and Washington County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association will conduct hands-on workshops for children. Kids will get the same information as grownups, but in a child-friendly format.

"For preparedness to work, everybody has to be on the same page," Brown says. She also says the best way to train adults is to train children.

This has been proven at Children's Village, says Brigette Heller of the Washington County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association.

"They'll hound you - you can't get away," she says.

Getting away - from the threat of severe weather, for example - by knowing your surroundings" is advice that Brown will provide in a seminar on the Emergency Alerting System and Severe Weather.

Other seminars will discuss planning a family disaster kit, home fire escape, pet preparedness, taking care of people with special needs - everything, it seems. Pre-registration is required for first aid and CPR classes that will be offered.

Some disasters can't be prevented. Chaos can happen, Brown says. But it can be controlled and do less damage if you're ready.

If you go

Citizens' Emergency Preparedness Day

Saturday, Aug. 17, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Robinwood Medical Center

11110 Medical Campus Road, Hagerstown


Certain workshops, marked with an asterisk, require pre-registration.

Call 240-313-2930 and leave a message.

Workshop schedule

  • 9 a.m. - CPR presented by the American Red Cross.*

  • 9:30 a.m. - Emergency Alerting System severe weather presented by Washington County Emergency Management

  • 10 a.m. - Family Disaster Kit Planning presented by the American Red Cross

  • 10 a.m. - Children's Workshop presented by Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association

  • 10:30 a.m. - Sheltering/Evacuation presented by Washington County Emergency Management and American Red Cross

  • 11 a.m. - Quarantine/Isolation presented by Washington County Hospital and Washington County Health Department

  • 12:30 p.m. - Chemical Safety presented by Washington County Special Operations

  • 1 p.m. - First Aid presented by the American Red Cross.*

  • 1 p.m. - Children's Workshop presented by Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association

  • 1 p.m. - Home Fire Escape Planning presented by City of Hagerstown Fire Department*

  • 1:30 p.m. - Pets/Emergency Preparedness presented by Washington County Emergency Management and the Humane Society

  • 2 p.m. - Special Needs? Consider This! presented by Washington County Disabilities Advisory Committee and Washington County Emergency Management

  • 2:30 p.m. - Family Disaster Kit Planning presented by the American Red Cross

Family Disaster Supplies Kit

Think you're ready for anything? Wanna bet?

The American Red Cross will be handing out packets at the Saturday, Aug. 17, Citizens' Emergency Preparedness Day that will fill you in on what to have handy if disaster should strike.

  • Here are some of the items that go into the family disaster kit:

  • One gallon of water per person in your family per day

  • Food - ready to eat, high energy, for infants and the elderly, for comfort

  • A first aid kit that includes Latex gloves and sunscreen as well as non-prescription drugs and materials for bandaging wounds

  • Batteries, flashlight, battery-operated radio plus 28 other items

  • Clothing

  • Family documents such as wills, insurance policies, bank and credit card account numbers

The Red Cross suggests you keep the kit in a convenient place known to all family members and keep a smaller version in the trunk of your car.

Two free workshops on family disaster kit planning, one at 10 a.m. and one at 2:30 p.m. will be held on Saturday, Aug. 17, at Robinwood Medical Center.

The Herald-Mail Articles