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The message for National Preparedness Month is a simple one and asks every citizen to take steps that would minimize the impact of large scale emergency or disastrous events. Please help spread the word on these simple steps:
* Be informed. Know the hazards and risks in the area you live* Make a family emergency plan, so you know how you would communicate to find your loved ones if a disaster hit.
Complete this checklist• Post emergency telephone numbers by phones (fire, police, ambulance, etc.).• Teach children how and when to call 911 or your local Emergency Medical Services number for emergency help.• Determine the best escape routes from your home. Find two ways out of each room.• Find the safe spots in your home for each type of disaster.• Show each family member how and when to turn off the water, gas, and electricity at the main switches.• Check if you have adequate insurance coverage.• Teach each family member how to use the fire extinguisher, and show them where it’s kept.• Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms.• Conduct a home hazard hunt.• Stock emergency supplies and assemble a disaster supplies kit.• Take a Red Cross First Aid and CPR class.
* Build an emergency supply kit – both at home and in your car – that includes water, food and first aid supplies to help you survive if you lose power or get stranded in your car. This is especially important for dealing with icy roads and snowstorms this winter.
A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them. You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. Help may arrive in hours or it might take days.
Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.
* Get Involved - Be an advocate and educator for safety and emergency preparedness within your community.
Neighborhood Watch is similar to the Block Watch program commonly conducted in urban areas, and goes back to the concept of “neighbors looking out for neighbors” that many people remember from 30 years ago. It is one of the most effective ways to prevent and deter criminal activity, attend to home and personal security, address the safety of our children and the elderly and to alleviate fear and isolation. Residents will learn how to observe and report suspicious activity and reduce the risk of becoming a crime victim. For more information about the Neighborhood Watch program and the meeting schedule, please call the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office at (928) 226-5089.
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Media and Public Contact: Gerry Blair, Coconino County Sheriff's Office, 928-226-5089