Tahoe chief’s corner: Emergency preparedness — stay informed, assemble a kit | SierraSun.com

Tahoe chief’s corner: Emergency preparedness — stay informed, assemble a kit

Ryan Sommers
Chief’s Corner

Last week we reviewed the first step regarding Emergency Preparedness, make a plan. Once you've reviewed your plan with your family that includes everything from identifying escape routes, establishing a meeting place, evacuation plans, family communication plan and any special needs for elderly, pets or livestock, the next steps are to stay informed and assemble a kit.

Staying informed means learning what disasters or emergencies may occur in your neighborhood. Washoe County plans for 13 different hazards. These events can range from those affecting only you and your family, like a home fire or medical emergency, to those affecting your entire community, like an earthquake, fire or flood.

Local emergency management officials will continually be updating the local media during the events of an emergency. Citizens should monitor local television stations and radio emergency alerts. It is a good idea to have a battery operated radio included in your evacuation kit.

Citizens can register for reverse telephone notification, called Code Red. To sign up, go to http://www.readywashoe.com and follow the instructions. You can also tune to 780 KOH AM radio.

Know the difference between different weather alerts such as watches and warnings and what actions to take in each. Know what actions to take to protect yourself during disasters that may occur in areas where you travel or have moved recently.

For example, if you travel to a place where earthquakes are common and you are not familiar with them, make sure you know what to do to protect yourself should one occur.

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You may need to survive on your own after a disaster. This means having your own food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least three days. Local officials and emergency responders will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. A 72-hour supply of food and water is recommended.

Keep the items that you would most likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container such as a large, covered trash container; a camping backpack or a duffle bag.

There are six basics you should stock in your home: water, food, 1st aid supplies, clothing/bedding/sanitation supplies, tools, special items.

Emergency preparedness is about personal accountability, it is the responsibility of each one of us. It's up to each one of us to 1. Make a plan. 2. Assemble a kit. 3. Stay informed. For more information on Emergency Preparedness, visit http://www.readywashoe.com.

"Chief's Corner" is a regular feature from North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Interim Chief Ryan Sommers and other regional fire chiefs, offering information, tips and education material on fire safety, emergency preparedness and other pertinent topics.