Have a Plan

by Selina Johnson, Wylam Branch Library

Are you prepared for a disaster? Emergencies, whether natural or man-made, are occurrences that will affect millions of people each year. Therefore, it is imperative that you are aware of disasters that are most likely to affect your area. It is also even more important that you have a plan of action.

Tornadoes are common natural disasters in our state and have overwhelming effects such as power outages. Are you prepared to be without power for days? How will you keep in touch with others if phone services and internet services are disabled? There is also the possibility of injuries and damage to property. Our first instinct is to panic in these situations. However, just a bit of preparation will make a difficult situation a little easier to manage. Statistics show that disaster survivors will typically have to wait up to 72 hours for help to arrive. To this end, it is crucial to be prepared and have the ability to be self-sustaining for the first 72 hours after the disaster.

The American Red Cross has been in the emergency response business since 1881 and provides emergency assistance, disaster relief, and disaster preparedness education. According to their website, they respond to an emergency every eight minutes and 90% of the disasters that they respond to are home fires. Fires are fast and can engulf a home minutes. What is your fire escape plan? Do you have smoke detectors and are they working properly? The need to plan is real.

A representative from the American Red Cross will be presenting a disaster preparedness session at Wylam Branch Library on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. Forms will be available on that day for Wylam residents to complete in order to receive free smoke detectors. These smoke detectors will be installed in Wylam homes by the fire department. There will also be a drawing for a NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) weather radio. Come out and get some productive information that you can use to assist you in having a well-prepared emergency plan.