National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month and Fire Marshal Woody has several tips and resources to make sure everyone is prepared for an emergency. 

First, Fire Marshal Woody recommends having an emergency kit ready to go! It can be essential during storms, extended power outages, and other emergencies. What should you keep in your kit? Woody & Ready.Gov recommend: 
-Non-perishable food that can last 3-4 days
-Manual can opener
-First Aid kit
-Phone chargers and portable battery packs
-Battery operated radio
-Fire extinguisher

Ready.Gov also suggests having other essentials ready to go, should have to evacuate:
-Prescription medication
-Non-prescription medication such as pain relievers
-Hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, etc. 
-Prescription glasses, extra contact lenses
-Pet food & water for your pet
-Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
-Activities to keep everyone entertained, such as books, coloring books and crayons, puzzles, and games

Fire Marshal Woody also recommends having the following, especially for older adults:
-Updated medication, doctors list
-Emergency contacts list, including names, phone numbers, and addresses
-Important documents, such as financial and medical records, in a safe, easily accessible area
-An escape plan in case of a fire or other emergency inside of the home

Inside the home, it's important to prevent slips and trips, especially for our oldest community members. One wrong move could land them in the hospital! Fire Marshal Woody says the first step is to fix or remove any potential hazards.

Once those are removed, he recommends the following: 
-Handrails on both sides of the stairs
-Plenty of good lighting throughout the house
-Keep walk areas tidy...don't leave books, blankets, shoes, etc. lying on the floor or stairs
-Buy sofas, chairs that are at an appropriate height for older adults to easily get in and out of
-Firmly fix carpets to floors so they won't bunch up and cause someone to trip
-In the bathroom, use nonskid mats or strips on tub floors
-In the bedroom, utilize night lights and keep a well-charged phone near the bed in case of an emergency 
-In the kitchen, clean up spills immediately and keep pot holders near the stove/oven to prevent potential burns

When it comes to preparing for our pets, Woody and the CDC recommend the following to make sure our four-legged family members remain safe:
-Ensure pet is wearing collar with a tag that lists their name, your phone number
-Microchip pets
-Keep a leash near the exit to be able to grab quickly
-Prepare a pet disaster kit
                  -Several days’ worth of food
                  -Water, bowls
                  -Medicine, if applicable 
                  -Dog first aid kit
                  -Collar with ID tag, harness, and leash
                  -Sanitation needs, such as pet litter and litter box, plastic trash bags, etc.
                  -Grooming items
                  -Familiar items such as their favorite toys, treats, and bed