A Lesson in Being Ready

When Tropical Storm Irene hit Rutland, about a thousand people were forced into Red Cross Emergency Shelters … in part because some were unprepared to survive on their own.

“I would say in terms of the specific advice the emergency agencies have about having water and food ready to evacuate … I didn’t see too much preparation in terms of that.” says Gerard Ashton of the Red Cross. Gerard Ashton is one of the participants in Catamont Radio’s Emergency Preparedness Expo at the Diamond Run Mall “Since Irene hit, we’ve all learned so much.”

At the expo, members of the public could learn even more.  From the Fire Department and the Red Cross to Rutland Area Disaster Animal Response Team, ‘RADART’ for short, pros were on hand to talk about emergency preparedness plans, most importantly, they say, always have a bag packed. Flashlight, AM/FM Radio, first aid kit, it would have packets of drinking water and a space blanket for warmth.

The Red Cross says some other items you should always have packed in a disaster relief bag — extra prescription medication, meal bars, insurance cards, toiletries, and an extra change of clothes.

While the Red Cross says family members should always have a bag packed in case of emergencies, one member of the family you might forget about is your pet. But RADART’s team put together this kit — an example for your pet, with a first aid kit, non-perishable food, a brush, and don’t forget tape and scissors in case of an injury and always remember a leash and a collar.

“You know what, if we help one person today, and make them more aware and prepared, it’s worth it to us.” Adds Glenda Hawley, from Catamount Radio.

Important lessons that could make the response to another natural disaster easier and faster.

~ Mohit Jain
National Youth Council Member

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