By Mike Conrad
This is always the most difficult time for me to write an article about safety precautions and preparedness. We are still in fire season and as we all know, September and October can be some of the warmest times of the year. So reminding everyone to maintain their defensible space and keeping their property safe from wild fire is important. But at the same time, we know that Mother Nature can provide us with some early winter rains. So this is also a good time to remind people to start preparing themselves and their property for the winter rain and winds.
Like with any emergency preparedness make sure you have your emergency supplies. Have enough water for 3 days providing 1 gallon of water per person per day. Provide for at least 3 days of food supply for you and your family in the event you are unable to get out and to a store. Remember food and water for your pets as well.
Know where your flashlight, portable radio and extra batteries are. Have medical first aid supplies as well as required prescriptions on hand in ample supply. Sanitation supplies, warm clothing and blankets or sleeping bags should be available in the event your heating goes out for an extended amount of time.
Use flashlights and/or battery operated camp lanterns instead of candles to provide light to your home. If you have a fireplace, be sure to use it safely and keep combustibles well away during its use. Never use BBQ’s or open flame cooking or heating devices intended for outdoors use in your home, these devices will produce Carbon Monoxide and can be deadly. Keep a fire extinguisher handy just in case.
If you have an emergency generator, make sure you are familiar with its proper use and that it has been properly installed by an electrician. An improperly installed generator can be both a fire hazard as well as a risk of electrocution to you and responders outside your home.
While the sky is still blue and the sun is warm, prepare your home for the arrival of winter as well. Make sure your rain gutters are clean and runoff is diverted away from not only your home but your neighbors as well. Have your roofed checked for leaks and repair as necessary. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding have sand and sandbags on site ready to be used if necessary.
Never try to cross flooded roads in your car; we see this on the news all the time yet people continue to think they can make it. Never ever touch, walk or drive over down power lines. The risk is too great. I’ll spend more time on this as we get closer to winter.
If you are looking for more information on preparedness and what to do during an emergency, Sunday October 2, 2016 will be the annual “Dangers in Paradise.” This safety fair and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) event will be held in the parking lot of Home Depot on 41st avenue. This starts at 9:00 am with information on all types of emergencies.
Local CERT teams will also be on site completing refresher training and then at 12:30 these teams will show their stuff in a friendly competition on which crew can perform the best.