Tahoe Chief’s Corner: Recent storms remind us of emergency prep importance | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Chief’s Corner: Recent storms remind us of emergency prep importance

Ryan Sommers
Chief’s Corner

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — With all the winter weather we've been experiencing over the last week, and more on the way, it's a good time to review Emergency Preparedness and the importance of being prepared ahead of time for emergency situations.

The three key steps are: Make a Plan, Assemble a Kit and 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 were not home when a warning is issued. The Washoe County Emergency Management Program has compiled some general information listed below to help you prepare for an emergency.

Emergency Plan

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. Meet with household members. Discuss with children the dangers of fire, severe weather, earthquakes and other emergencies.

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Draw a floor plan of your home. Mark two escape routes from each room.

Learn how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity at main switches.

Post emergency telephone numbers near telephones.

Instruct household members to turn on the radio for emergency information.

Pick one out-of-state and one local friend or relative for family members to call if separated by disaster (it is often easier to call out-of-state than within the affected area).

Pick two meeting places — one near your home and one outside your neighborhood.

Assemble a Kit

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.

There are six key items you should have: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing/bedding, tools and any special items. Keep the items that you would most likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container.

Stay Informed

Learn what disasters or emergencies may occur in your neighborhood. 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.

Sign up for Code Red to receive emergency alerts, visit http://www.readywashoe.com. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) local primary stations are: KKOH 780AM, KUNR 88.9 FM, KOWL 1490AM, KRLT 93.9 FM, KTKE 101.50 FM.

For more detailed information, please visit http://www.nltfpd.net/community-outreach/emergency-preparedness/ or http://www.readywashoe.com.

Ryan Sommers is chief of the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District. Email him at rsommers@nltfpd.net.