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Boreal Emergency Preparedness Portal

Preparation is key in coping with disaster

Jun 30, 2018 08:59AM ● By Editor
An example of a "Go Kit".  Photo:  FEMA

KALI KATERBERG, Staff Writer, The Mining Gazette - June 30, 2018 [email protected]

HOUGHTON COUNTY — You  never know when a disaster could strike, as the recent Father’s Day flooding demonstrated, and that is why it’s important to always be prepared.

“For those that are not prepared, it takes them longer to recover,” said Red Cross Disaster Program Manager Debbie Chitester.

With preparation, people can take care of themselves for longer helping to not overburdening emergency services in a crisis giving responders more ability to focus on those hardest hit. For that reason the Red Cross and other agencies have a preparation education focus.

“There’s a lot of different levels of preparedness,” she said.

If a full plan seems daunting, even a little can help and be a start to build on.

It’s a good idea to be prepared for multiple situations, including leaving home quickly and sheltering in place.

For a quick-exit situation like flooding or fire, a “go-kit” with essentials can be vital, Chitester said.

Important documents and medication would be included, located in a waterproof container.

It is important to also be prepared to shelter in place with up to three days of food and water available.

A gallon of water per day for each member of a household and non perishables that can be prepared without electric or gas are important to have on hand.

Pets will also need to be included in planning food and water supplies.

Some of Chitester’s favorite tips are, in case of water shut off, ice cubes can be melted to take medicine, and if power is lost, decorative solar-powered yard lights make simple lighting features.

It’s also a good idea to have a bit of cash on hand in case of internet access issues in stores, she said.

Families should prearrange a meeting place in case a disaster or emergency occurs while everyone is separated and can’t get back to the house. A home exit plan with escape routes can also be useful.

“It doesn’t have to be something as big as a flood…but these are things to be prepared for all the time,” Chitester said.

More information and planning guides can be located at

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