Tahoe chief’s corner: Emergency preparedness — making a plan (part 2) | SierraSun.com

Tahoe chief’s corner: Emergency preparedness — making a plan (part 2)

Mike Brown
Special to the Bonanza
Mike Brown

September is National Preparedness Month. We are encouraging everyone to participate in the theme, “Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.”

Now is a great time to make an emergency communication plan for your family. This month, we hope that you will spend time together with your family and talk about how you will contact each other and where you will meet should disaster strike.

Last week, we focused on the “escape routes,” “meeting places” and “evacuation plans.” This week, we’ll cover the other items necessary to complete the “make a plan” process:

Family Communications: Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another. Think about how you will communicate in different situations. Complete a contact card for each family member. Have family members keep these cards handy in a wallet, purse, backpack, etc. You may want to send one to school with each child to keep on file. Pick a friend or relative who lives out-of-state for household members to notify they are safe. By choosing an out-of-state contact, if local phone lines are locked up, each family member should still be able to make & receive long distance phone calls.

Utility Shut-off and Safety: In the event of a disaster, you may be instructed to shut off the utility service at your home. As part of your family preparedness, contact your local water, gas, and electrical companies to learn how to safety turn off these services.

Safety Skills: It is important that family members know how to administer first aid and CPR and how to use a fire extinguisher. Learn First Aid and CPR. Go to http://www.nltfpd.net for 2015 CPR courses. Learn how to use a fire extinguisher and where it is kept. You should have, at a minimum, an ABC type fire extinguisher.

Special Needs: If you or someone close to you has a disability or a special need, you may have to take additional steps to protect yourself and your family in an emergency. Find out about special assistance that may be available in Washoe County. Register with the office of emergency services or the local fire department for assistance so needed help can be provided.

Care for Pets: If you evacuate your home, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND! Pets most likely cannot survive by themselves; and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return. For additional information, please contact Washoe County Regional Animal Services — email at pets@washoecounty.us, or call the shelter at 775-353-8900 or Field Dispatch at 775-322-3647 (DOGS).

Care for Livestock: If you have large animals such as horses, cattle, sheep, goats, or pigs on your property, be sure to prepare before a disaster. For additional information, please contact Washoe County Regional Animal Services.

“Chief’s Corner” is a regular feature in the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza from North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Chief Mike Brown, offering information, tips and educational material on fire safety, emergency preparedness and other pertinent topics.