The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

By Beau Renfro
Coordinator, Department of Emergency Management 

October is Disaster Preparedness Month

 

October 19, 2017



Department of Emergency Management (DEM)

The Wahkiakum County Sheriff's Office Department of Emergency Management (DEM) is happy to announce that October is Disaster Preparedness & NOAA Weather Radio Month. It is my goal to make Wahkiakum County and its residents as prepared and ready as possible for a disaster through preparation and public education.

Each of the coming weeks in October, I am going to provide you with information on how you can take four basic steps: Be informed, Create a Plan, Build a Kit, and Get Involved. By taking these steps now it will make you and your family more prepared during and after an everyday emergency or a large scale disaster.

This week I am going to discuss some important components for your family communications plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan in advance: how you will get to a safe place; how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations. Be sure every member of your family knows key phone numbers including a local contact person and an outside of your community and out of state contact who can act as a central point of contact to help your family reconnect. In a disaster, it may be easier to make a long-distance phone call, than to call across town because local phone lines can be jammed very quickly.

Teach family members how to use text messaging (also known as SMS or Short Message Service). Text messages can often get around network disruptions and congestion when a phone call might not be able to get through. You may obtain family communications plans forms from my office or at ready.gov.

It is very important to write your plan down and put it in a safe accessible place. People tend to panic or are unable to remember what they are supposed to do during and after major emergencies, so it is important to plan in advance.

If you have any questions or for more information on the item I have discussed in this article, contact me at renfrob@co.wahkiakum.wa.us, 795-7876, 465-2202 or visit my website at: http://www.co.wahkiakum.wa.us/dem.html.

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