As 2015 ends with unseasonably high temperatures , too much rain and no snow, Lexington’s Division of Emergency Management wants residents to Resolve to Be Ready in 2016. This New Year’s resolution includes four things to do to be prepared for emergencies:
From changing weather conditions to traffic accidents and serious emergency situations, staying informed is vital to everyone’s safety. It can be through local radio or television, websites, smartphone apps or alerting text message services. In Lexington, emergency notifications will also be broadcast on Emergency Management Radio, broadcasting at 1620AM and the TuneIn streaming network.
Make an Emergency Plan
It’s important to know what are the most likely emergencies you’ll need to handle here in Lexington and what you’ll do to respond to the situation. A plan includes:
- Writing down home, office and mobile phone numbers and sharing them with all family members.
- Designate a neighborhood and an area meeting place in case family members get separated.
- Set an In Case of Emergency (ICE) phone number on everyone’s mobile phone.
- Make sure everyone knows how to text message. Text messages will go through when voice calls may not.
- Pick an out-of-town relative or friend as an emergency contact. Long distance phone calls may go through when local calls don’t.
- Collect and make copies of important documents and put them in a safe place, ideally a waterproof, fire-resistant container.
Build an Emergency Kit
During an emergency, you may need some basic supplies to help you and your family stay safe and sound. It doesn’t need to be expensive or time consuming, but you should have these things gathered and ready to go:
- NOAA Weather Radio – A sure way to get current weather information.
- Portable AM/FM Radio – The best way to stay in touch with news and information.
- Flashlight with extra batteries – The batteries should fit in the radios as well.
- First Aid Kit – If a family member needs regular medications, put a three-day supply of those medications in your kit as well.
- Cell phone charger – An extra car charger or external battery backup will keep your phone charged.
- Whistle – If you need to signal for help, a whistle’s sound will carry father than a shout.
- Food and Water – A three-day supply of food that doesn’t require cooking. One gallon of water per person per day.
- Change of clothing – At least one change of clothing per person. Clothes should be seasonally appropriate – heavier clothing for winter months. Sturdy shoes or boots.
- Pre-moistened wipes and personal hygiene products
- Cash – ATMs and credit card machines may not work during power outages.
- Books, games and puzzles – During an emergency, the hardest part may be waiting.
Personal preparedness is the foundation for community preparedness. There are classes, teams and organizations that can help you be prepared for emergencies. These include:
- Lexington’s Community Emergency Response Team
- Lexington Citizen Police and Fire Academies
- American Red Cross
- Medical Reserve Corps
More information about emergency preparedness is available from the Lexington Emergency Management website at BeReadyLexington.com. Information is also available from the Emergency Management Facebook page – LexingtonKYEM – or the Emergency Management Twitter channel @LexKYEM. Emergency and preparedness information is also available via Emergency Management Radio, broadcasting at 1620AM.