Chief’s Corner: Emergency preparedness and evacuation tips
EDITOR’S NOTE: “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 education material on fire safety, emergency preparedness and other pertinent topics.
Emergency preparedness. Are you prepared in case of an emergency or disaster? Personal accountability 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.
Prior to a disaster, each family must have a plan. You can begin this process by gathering family members and making sure each person is well-informed on potential hazards and community plans.
Discuss with them what you would do if family members are not home when a warning is issued.
Additionally, your family plan should address the following: escape routes; evacuation plans, family communications, utility shut-off and safety, safety skills, special needs, care for pets and livestock.
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 relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it might take days.
Keep the items that you would most likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container. Possible containers include a large, covered trash container; a camping backpack; or a duffle bag.
There are six basics you should stock in your home: water, food, First Aid supplies, clothing/bedding/sanitation supplies, tools, special items.
Learn 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 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.
For more information on emergency preparedness and to register for reverse telephone notification, called Code Red, visit http://washoecounty.us/em/alert.html and follow the instructions.