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Editorial: Advice is just in time to greet Irma

Editorial: Advice is just in time to greet Irma
September 07
05:00 2017

We celebrated Labor Day on Monday. Students are back in school. Now, Irma might be paying us a visit.

September is North Carolina Preparedness Month, when hurricane season rises to the top of the list of things to think about. As peak hurricane season approaches, the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Office of Emergency Management is reminding residents and businesses to update their emergency plans and supply kits.

Harvey, as in Hurricane Harvey, is a reminder that that’s a good idea. Hurricane Irma appears to be even stronger than Harvey, and look what happened in Texas.

Advance preparation is the key, says Emergency Management Director Melton Sadler. “You cannot predict when weather-related or man-made emergencies will occur, but you can plan now on how to respond when disasters strike. Following a few simple steps can save lives.”

Specifically, Sadler said, families and businesses should assemble emergency supply kits, then make and rehearse plans for where to go and what to do if a disaster strikes. The plan should include details about where to meet, how to get in touch with one another, evacuation plans, what to do with pets and how to notify employers/employees after an emergency.

The kit should contain enough non-perishable food, a manual can opener, and a gallon of water per person per day to last three to seven days. Other essential items include:

*Copies of insurance papers and identification sealed in a watertight plastic bag

*Flashlight and extra batteries

*Cell phone charger or power pack

*First-aid kit and book

*Weather radio and batteries

*Supply of prescription medicines

*Sleeping bag or blankets

*Changes of clothes

*Wrench or pliers to turn off water

*Hygiene items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, deodorant and anti-bacterial wipes or gel

*Cash and change

*Extra house and car keys

*Pet supplies including food, water, leashes, bedding, muzzle and vaccination records

*Books, games or playing cards

“Items for your emergency supply kit can be found around the house,” Sadler said. “Having an emergency supply kit will help you after an emergency because first responders may not be able to reach you quickly. And important papers readily accessible will speed up the recovery process because you can more quickly process insurance claims.”

More information on hurricanes and overall emergency preparedness can be found on the ReadyNC mobile app and online at ReadyForsyth.org. Emergency Management also posts updated information on its ReadyForsyth Facebook page.

Remember Hurricane Matthew? People are still reeling from his visit last year. So heed the warnings in case Irma pays us a visit.

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WS Chronicle

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