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.
- 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
- 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.