You are on page 1of 8

8 SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2017 The Dispatch • www.cdispatch.com ARE YOU READY?

Are you ready?
A local guide to storm preparedness

Sunday, October 29, 2017
2 SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2017 The Dispatch • www.cdispatch.com ARE YOU READY? ARE YOU READY? The Dispatch • www.cdispatch.com SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2017 7

Emergency
Continued from Page 5
• wrench, pliers or other tools to turn off 866b05ac84daf1ee/checklist_2014.pdf.
utilities;
• can openers for any food in cans; and
• local maps.
Being ready
Last of all, Akers said families should “get
The Red Cross also suggests keeping a involved” — educate neighbors and other
seven-day supply of medications and med- family members on the importance of being
ical items, cell phones with chargers, extra ready.
cash and copies of personal documents. “At the bare minimum, conducting
Of course, Akers added, those supply neighbor checks, with an added focus on
kits will have additional supplies depending those neighbors with special needs in their
on the individual needs of families. FEMA’s households, is a great practice,” he said. “I
list of additional items lists supplies from ex- have seen neighborhoods employ a ‘cap-
tra pet food and water to infant formula and tain’ system where there is a leadership
diapers. structure applied to neighborhood checks.
For a full list of additional items, go to “But that just gets back to being a good
https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/ steward and a good human being,” he add-
1390846764394 - dc08e309debe561d- ed.

Problem
Continued from Page 6
annually to see if it’s working properly or if don’t. It can get behind sheet rock or under
it has water in the drip pan. the floor.”
Another way, he said, is not trying to Adhering to these few tips, he said, can
clean up leaks yourself by just drying what save money and hassle.
you can see. “And it can cost you thousands and
“It’s not the water that you can see that’s thousands of dollars if you don’t,” he add-
the problem,” he said. “It’s the water you ed.
6 SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2017 The Dispatch • www.cdispatch.com ARE YOU READY? ARE YOU READY? The Dispatch • www.cdispatch.com SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2017 3

Keeping a small problem from becoming a big one Four-step prep for all kinds of emergencies
Tips for protecting your home pipes from bursting. When temperatures
Extension professor offers
are expected to drop below freezing, he gency assistance, part of its role is educa-
tion and outreach.
from water damage, mold
advises running your faucets on a low drip
keys to disaster safety
“From publications, news articles and
overnight or during any time you’ll be gone
videos to short seminars and longer, more
from home.
BY ZACK PLAIR sustained workshops, we have some fantas-
The older the pipes, he said, the more BY ISABELLE ALTMAN
zplair@cdispatch.com tic subject matter experts that run the gamut
prone they are to burst. ialtman@cdispatch.com in terms of emergency preparedness,” Akers
“Pipes and cold weather just don’t mix,”
Brent Thompson has seen his share of said. “Whether the audience is comprised
he said. “If they burst, and you’re lucky, Ryan Akers emphasizes four points when
disasters on a grand scale — homes dam- of an agriculturally focused audience to
you’ll be home and see it. If you’re like it comes to “being ready” for natural disas-
aged by hurricanes and tornadoes, for in- government and community officials to the
most people, you’ll be gone when it hap- ters or other emergency situations: aware-
stance. general public.”
pens and return to a big mess.” ness of the unfolding crisis, planning and
He’s also seen a slow toilet leak cost a He advised also keeping your cabinet communicating with friends
homeowner $50,000 in water damage. doors open around pipes to expose them and family, having necessary Awareness
As the owner of Paul Davis Emergency more directly to the heat of your home. supplies and making sure The first step, he said, is be alert.
Services in Starkville, Thompson makes his “I don’t know if there is any scientific neighbors and others in the “Understand the threats and hazards that
living restoring homes damaged by water, proof that works, but what’s it going to community are just as pre- your geographic location faces throughout
fire, mold and storms. Even so, he routinely hurt?” he said. pared for the disaster as you the year and be ready to act in the event
offers tips for homeowners and residents to Mold is a much greater issue in the sum- are. that a possibility becomes a reality,” he said.
prevent what damage they can. mer, stemming from water mixed with heat. It’s part of his job to em- For the Golden Triangle area, those
In Mississippi, Thompson said, he most A slow leak in an air conditioning unit or phasize these things: Akers Akers threats are primarily severe weather, he
water heater, for example, can rapidly grow is an assistant Extension pro- said. Flooding is actually the most common
often sees water damage and mold in
mold that badly damages your home. fessor with Mississippi State University’s type of weather-related disaster in the coun- Keeping emergency supplies on-hand, such as batteries, flashlights and first aid kits, can
homes he services, and those problems The combination of a slow water leak and the summer heat can cause mold to grow quick-
Thompson said one way to prevent that School of Human Sciences, and his special- try, and citizens should be as prepared for be key to keeping you safe during an emergency. The Mississippi State University Extension
can be easily prevented. ly in your home. Brent Thompson, owner of Paul Davis Emergency Services in Starkville,
is having your air conditioning unit checked ty is emergency management programming. floods as for hurricanes and tornadoes. Service, along with organizations such as the American Red Cross and the Federal Emer-
With winter fast-approaching, one of the advises annual professional checks of air conditioning units and hot water heaters to help “Should we have an earthquake plan or a
most critical preparation keys is protecting See PROBLEM, 7 prevent the possibility of mold damage to your home. While his office helps in recovery efforts gency Management Administration, offers a wealth of informational resources to help you
throughout the state in the event of emer- wildfire plan or an active shooter plan?” Ak- best prepare for a worst-case scenario.
ers said. “Absolutely. But by and large, we “You’ll want to be able to survive on your
tend to place more focus on what we are own for at least 72 to 96 hours,” Akers said.
most likely to face ... and those fall within “A dedicated emergency supply kit with
the realm of ... risks related to severe weath- carefully planned out resources will serve
er.” as a great resource to you and your family.”
When becoming aware those risks are im- The best places to find those are through
minent, keep phones and laptops charged, the Federal Emergency Management Ad-
and make sure you’re getting up-to-date in- ministration and the American Red Cross,
formation from sources that are both local he said.
and official, Akers said. He recommended FEMA’s emergency supply list for basic
having a working NOAA Weather Radio. families includes:
• gallon of water per person per day for
Communication at least three days (The Red Cross actually
Secondly, he said, is to have a communi- recommends a three-day supply for evacua-
cation plan for the whole family. tion and a two-week supply for home);
Make sure to write down contact in- • a three-day supply of nonperishable
formation for immediate family members food;
and out-of-town family. Keeping those in • battery-powered or hand crank radio
a phone won’t necessarily be enough, he and a NOAA weather radio with extra bat-
added — during disasters, cell phone net- teries for both;
works may become overwhelmed. • flashlights with extra batteries;
Texting information is usually better than • first aid kits;
making calls because it’s less taxing on cell • whistles to get the attention of first re-
networks, he added. sponders or others who can help;
Keep the contact information in a safe • dust masks;
place with insurance and medical infor- • plastic sheeting and duct tape to con-
mation so that you can easily grab it if you struct or repair shelter;
need to evacuate, Akers said. • moist towelettes, garbage bags and
plastic ties to keep yourself and your space
clean;
Supplies
Third, keep emergency supply kits handy. See EMERGENCY, 7
4 SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2017 The Dispatch • www.cdispatch.com ARE YOU READY? ARE YOU READY? The Dispatch • www.cdispatch.com SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2017 5

Situational awareness Power companies urge customers to prepare for worst
starts with good lighting Treat power lines with care;
things.”
Gale further recommended making a call

inform power company if
list of local emergency agencies to contact
in the event of an emergency.

using generators
Starkville Utilities Department Manag-
CPD assistant chief offers tips for personal, property safety er of Customer Service and Administration
Stan Acy said his family keeps simple sup-
BY ISABELLE ALTMAN too, Shelton said. So it’s important to keep BY ALEX HOLLOWAY AND ZACK PLAIR plies, such as the ones Gale mentioned,
ialtman@cdispatch.com your home well-lit even when you’re not aholloway@cdispatch.com; zplair@cdispatch.com on hand for emergency situations. He also
there. recommended having a generator, in case
General safety “This is the time of year where it gets When it comes to general emergency
preparedness, Columbus Light and Water
power goes down for an extended time.
Many emergencies, from being hit by darker a little faster,” he said. SUD prepares itself makes preparations
cars to mugged in a parking lot, can be If you know you’re going to be out late, General Manager Todd Gale said he recom- as a department for bad weather, Acy said.
avoided by taking simple precautions. Co- Shelton said, keep front lights on. He also mended people keep basic That primarily comes in the form of keep-
lumbus Police Department Assistant Chief suggested investing in a motion-detecting supplies, such as flashlights, ing tree branches clear of the department’s
Fred Shelton’s biggest pre- light, which will come on when you — or batteries, a weather radio and main power lines to prevent outages.
caution: Keep close to the someone else — is in the yard. water, ready for emergency “We always try to be proactive with tree
light. If an area isn’t well-lit or a street light is situations. trimming along our primary power lines to
“We know people who out, he added, it’s easy enough to get the Gale also suggested hav- prevent lines from going down,” he said.
commit crimes don’t like to pole number from the nearest pole and ing smoke detectors and car- “Of course if there’s a big storm, you might
do it in the light; they like to turn it over to Mayor Robert Smith’s office, bon monoxide detectors, and get that anyway, but that’s probably our
do it in the dark,” he said. where employees can then turn it over to to check regularly to ensure Gale main effort.”
It’s also easier for people Columbus Light and Water. their batteries are working. Gale said CLW checks to make sure the
to see you if you’re walking Shelton CLW can also install lights on private “It’s all going to be about the standard department has materials and manpower A downed power line can still be live and very dangerous to touch. Area power company
or biking alongside traffic in the daytime property for personal use, Shelton said. stuff,” Gale said. “When the time changes on-hand to deal with emergencies when se- representatives urge customers to report downed power lines and stay away from them.
rather than after dark, Shelton said. That’s “(My neighbor and I) share a security in the fall and the spring would be a good vere weather is bearing down on the area.
why if you have a choice, run your errands, light,” he said. “They pay half and I pay half, time to remind yourself to check all those Preparations can vary, depending on the time of year. Crews can prepare for any- customer and power employees alike.
walk your dog or exercise all during the day. and it shines right in the middle of the prop- thing, from fixing downed power lines to “If your generator isn’t properly island-
“Be in familiar areas where it’s well-lit erty.” cutting off water during hard freezes to keep ed — meaning it’s set up to where it’s not
and well-traveled,” he said. The same goes for going to and from ve- pipes from bursting. putting power back into the system — then
If you do end up out at night, wear re- hicles. Most people have remote keys, and “We check to see who’s going to be in you’re basically putting power on a line our
flective clothing — “something that stands using those to unlock the doors from a few town and who we can contact as far as guys think is dead,” he said. “That can cause
out” — so that drivers and other people can steps away illuminates the car. Check in and making sure all of our guys are on standby,” a lot of problems.”
see you more easily, he said. Those out and around the car before getting into it, Shelton Gale said. “We fuel all of our trucks, where During cold weather outages, Turn-
about should also have a cell phone, flash- said. we have plenty of gas. If it’s a winter weath- er said, people are sometimes tempted to
light and ID and should keep to less traf- Other tips included not opening the er situation, we’ll make sure we have chains bring generators or other devices inside for
fic-heavy areas. doors for solicitors after dark — in Colum- for trucks and ice.” a quick heating solution, a practice that can
“Be walking on Seventh Street as op- bus, solicitors have to get permission from cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
posed to (Highway) 45,” he said. the city to go door-to-door and they have Rural customers “We see that kind of thing more than you
The Columbus Riverwalk is a good place a certain time of day they’re supposed to In rural areas, damage from natural disas- think,” he said. “And God forbid you bring a
to walk dogs or ride bikes, he added. In stop knocking, Shelton said. Some people ters can be widespread and power can be grill or something in your house (to heat it).
addition to being specifically designed for will pretend to be selling something so they much more time-consuming to restore, ac- That’s a good way to get killed.”
those activities, it’s monitored 24 hours a have an excuse to get in a house — or even cording to 4-County Electric Lastly, Turner said, “rubbernecking” —
day by security cameras that feed to CPD. just peer through the door to see what’s in- Cooperative public relations however well-intentioned — can be dan-
Officers also occasionally patrol the area. side and if it’s worth coming back later and and marketing manager Jon gerous. Often, people will go out and look
For pedestrians or bikers on streets taking something. If you have any questions Turner. at storm damage, sometimes cleaning up
alongside cars, Shelton said, go against traf- about the validity of someone going door- Not only does Turner ad- what they can, and accidentally touch live
fic. Bicycles have to obey all the same traffic to-door, call CPD. vise customers to keep the power lines.
laws as motor vehicles — from stopping at Don’t leave boxes that large, expensive aforementioned necessities “Everybody thinks when they see a
stop signs and red lights to using signals to items were shipped in where people can on-hand, he also urges them downed line that it’s dead, but nothing can
communicate with other bikes and vehicles easily see them, Shelton added. If a criminal to keep an eye on weather Turner be further from the truth,” he said. “Treat
— except they’re supposed to travel oppo- sees a box for a large-screen television, he forecasts and act safely in the aftermath of them like they’re live until we get out and
site of traffic so that drivers can see them, or she is going to know you have something storms that cause outages. tell you otherwise.”
Shelton said. worth stealing, and they may try to break in Many people, for example, turn to gen- For any assistance from 4-County, in-
when you’re not home. erators during power outages — especially cluding help setting up a generator, Turn-
Other tips included installing chain locks long outages or those during extreme hot or er advises customers call 800-431-1544.
Property safety or peepholes and keeping your lawn and cold weather. He said sometimes customers 4-County personnel even offer what they
Lighting also goes a long way toward bushes trimmed, so criminals don’t have don’t let 4-County know they are running a call “hot line demonstrations” upon request
keeping your home and possessions safe, any place to hide. generator, which can be dangerous for the to teach customers about power line safety.
4 SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2017 The Dispatch • www.cdispatch.com ARE YOU READY? ARE YOU READY? The Dispatch • www.cdispatch.com SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2017 5

Situational awareness Power companies urge customers to prepare for worst
starts with good lighting Treat power lines with care;
things.”
Gale further recommended making a call

inform power company if
list of local emergency agencies to contact
in the event of an emergency.

using generators
Starkville Utilities Department Manag-
CPD assistant chief offers tips for personal, property safety er of Customer Service and Administration
Stan Acy said his family keeps simple sup-
BY ISABELLE ALTMAN too, Shelton said. So it’s important to keep BY ALEX HOLLOWAY AND ZACK PLAIR plies, such as the ones Gale mentioned,
ialtman@cdispatch.com your home well-lit even when you’re not aholloway@cdispatch.com; zplair@cdispatch.com on hand for emergency situations. He also
there. recommended having a generator, in case
General safety “This is the time of year where it gets When it comes to general emergency
preparedness, Columbus Light and Water
power goes down for an extended time.
Many emergencies, from being hit by darker a little faster,” he said. SUD prepares itself makes preparations
cars to mugged in a parking lot, can be If you know you’re going to be out late, General Manager Todd Gale said he recom- as a department for bad weather, Acy said.
avoided by taking simple precautions. Co- Shelton said, keep front lights on. He also mended people keep basic That primarily comes in the form of keep-
lumbus Police Department Assistant Chief suggested investing in a motion-detecting supplies, such as flashlights, ing tree branches clear of the department’s
Fred Shelton’s biggest pre- light, which will come on when you — or batteries, a weather radio and main power lines to prevent outages.
caution: Keep close to the someone else — is in the yard. water, ready for emergency “We always try to be proactive with tree
light. If an area isn’t well-lit or a street light is situations. trimming along our primary power lines to
“We know people who out, he added, it’s easy enough to get the Gale also suggested hav- prevent lines from going down,” he said.
commit crimes don’t like to pole number from the nearest pole and ing smoke detectors and car- “Of course if there’s a big storm, you might
do it in the light; they like to turn it over to Mayor Robert Smith’s office, bon monoxide detectors, and get that anyway, but that’s probably our
do it in the dark,” he said. where employees can then turn it over to to check regularly to ensure Gale main effort.”
It’s also easier for people Columbus Light and Water. their batteries are working. Gale said CLW checks to make sure the
to see you if you’re walking Shelton CLW can also install lights on private “It’s all going to be about the standard department has materials and manpower A downed power line can still be live and very dangerous to touch. Area power company
or biking alongside traffic in the daytime property for personal use, Shelton said. stuff,” Gale said. “When the time changes on-hand to deal with emergencies when se- representatives urge customers to report downed power lines and stay away from them.
rather than after dark, Shelton said. That’s “(My neighbor and I) share a security in the fall and the spring would be a good vere weather is bearing down on the area.
why if you have a choice, run your errands, light,” he said. “They pay half and I pay half, time to remind yourself to check all those Preparations can vary, depending on the time of year. Crews can prepare for any- customer and power employees alike.
walk your dog or exercise all during the day. and it shines right in the middle of the prop- thing, from fixing downed power lines to “If your generator isn’t properly island-
“Be in familiar areas where it’s well-lit erty.” cutting off water during hard freezes to keep ed — meaning it’s set up to where it’s not
and well-traveled,” he said. The same goes for going to and from ve- pipes from bursting. putting power back into the system — then
If you do end up out at night, wear re- hicles. Most people have remote keys, and “We check to see who’s going to be in you’re basically putting power on a line our
flective clothing — “something that stands using those to unlock the doors from a few town and who we can contact as far as guys think is dead,” he said. “That can cause
out” — so that drivers and other people can steps away illuminates the car. Check in and making sure all of our guys are on standby,” a lot of problems.”
see you more easily, he said. Those out and around the car before getting into it, Shelton Gale said. “We fuel all of our trucks, where During cold weather outages, Turn-
about should also have a cell phone, flash- said. we have plenty of gas. If it’s a winter weath- er said, people are sometimes tempted to
light and ID and should keep to less traf- Other tips included not opening the er situation, we’ll make sure we have chains bring generators or other devices inside for
fic-heavy areas. doors for solicitors after dark — in Colum- for trucks and ice.” a quick heating solution, a practice that can
“Be walking on Seventh Street as op- bus, solicitors have to get permission from cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
posed to (Highway) 45,” he said. the city to go door-to-door and they have Rural customers “We see that kind of thing more than you
The Columbus Riverwalk is a good place a certain time of day they’re supposed to In rural areas, damage from natural disas- think,” he said. “And God forbid you bring a
to walk dogs or ride bikes, he added. In stop knocking, Shelton said. Some people ters can be widespread and power can be grill or something in your house (to heat it).
addition to being specifically designed for will pretend to be selling something so they much more time-consuming to restore, ac- That’s a good way to get killed.”
those activities, it’s monitored 24 hours a have an excuse to get in a house — or even cording to 4-County Electric Lastly, Turner said, “rubbernecking” —
day by security cameras that feed to CPD. just peer through the door to see what’s in- Cooperative public relations however well-intentioned — can be dan-
Officers also occasionally patrol the area. side and if it’s worth coming back later and and marketing manager Jon gerous. Often, people will go out and look
For pedestrians or bikers on streets taking something. If you have any questions Turner. at storm damage, sometimes cleaning up
alongside cars, Shelton said, go against traf- about the validity of someone going door- Not only does Turner ad- what they can, and accidentally touch live
fic. Bicycles have to obey all the same traffic to-door, call CPD. vise customers to keep the power lines.
laws as motor vehicles — from stopping at Don’t leave boxes that large, expensive aforementioned necessities “Everybody thinks when they see a
stop signs and red lights to using signals to items were shipped in where people can on-hand, he also urges them downed line that it’s dead, but nothing can
communicate with other bikes and vehicles easily see them, Shelton added. If a criminal to keep an eye on weather Turner be further from the truth,” he said. “Treat
— except they’re supposed to travel oppo- sees a box for a large-screen television, he forecasts and act safely in the aftermath of them like they’re live until we get out and
site of traffic so that drivers can see them, or she is going to know you have something storms that cause outages. tell you otherwise.”
Shelton said. worth stealing, and they may try to break in Many people, for example, turn to gen- For any assistance from 4-County, in-
when you’re not home. erators during power outages — especially cluding help setting up a generator, Turn-
Other tips included installing chain locks long outages or those during extreme hot or er advises customers call 800-431-1544.
Property safety or peepholes and keeping your lawn and cold weather. He said sometimes customers 4-County personnel even offer what they
Lighting also goes a long way toward bushes trimmed, so criminals don’t have don’t let 4-County know they are running a call “hot line demonstrations” upon request
keeping your home and possessions safe, any place to hide. generator, which can be dangerous for the to teach customers about power line safety.
6 SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2017 The Dispatch • www.cdispatch.com ARE YOU READY? ARE YOU READY? The Dispatch • www.cdispatch.com SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2017 3

Keeping a small problem from becoming a big one Four-step prep for all kinds of emergencies
Tips for protecting your home pipes from bursting. When temperatures
Extension professor offers
are expected to drop below freezing, he gency assistance, part of its role is educa-
tion and outreach.
from water damage, mold
advises running your faucets on a low drip
keys to disaster safety
“From publications, news articles and
overnight or during any time you’ll be gone
videos to short seminars and longer, more
from home.
BY ZACK PLAIR sustained workshops, we have some fantas-
The older the pipes, he said, the more BY ISABELLE ALTMAN
zplair@cdispatch.com tic subject matter experts that run the gamut
prone they are to burst. ialtman@cdispatch.com in terms of emergency preparedness,” Akers
“Pipes and cold weather just don’t mix,”
Brent Thompson has seen his share of said. “Whether the audience is comprised
he said. “If they burst, and you’re lucky, Ryan Akers emphasizes four points when
disasters on a grand scale — homes dam- of an agriculturally focused audience to
you’ll be home and see it. If you’re like it comes to “being ready” for natural disas-
aged by hurricanes and tornadoes, for in- government and community officials to the
most people, you’ll be gone when it hap- ters or other emergency situations: aware-
stance. general public.”
pens and return to a big mess.” ness of the unfolding crisis, planning and
He’s also seen a slow toilet leak cost a He advised also keeping your cabinet communicating with friends
homeowner $50,000 in water damage. doors open around pipes to expose them and family, having necessary Awareness
As the owner of Paul Davis Emergency more directly to the heat of your home. supplies and making sure The first step, he said, is be alert.
Services in Starkville, Thompson makes his “I don’t know if there is any scientific neighbors and others in the “Understand the threats and hazards that
living restoring homes damaged by water, proof that works, but what’s it going to community are just as pre- your geographic location faces throughout
fire, mold and storms. Even so, he routinely hurt?” he said. pared for the disaster as you the year and be ready to act in the event
offers tips for homeowners and residents to Mold is a much greater issue in the sum- are. that a possibility becomes a reality,” he said.
prevent what damage they can. mer, stemming from water mixed with heat. It’s part of his job to em- For the Golden Triangle area, those
In Mississippi, Thompson said, he most A slow leak in an air conditioning unit or phasize these things: Akers Akers threats are primarily severe weather, he
water heater, for example, can rapidly grow is an assistant Extension pro- said. Flooding is actually the most common
often sees water damage and mold in
mold that badly damages your home. fessor with Mississippi State University’s type of weather-related disaster in the coun- Keeping emergency supplies on-hand, such as batteries, flashlights and first aid kits, can
homes he services, and those problems The combination of a slow water leak and the summer heat can cause mold to grow quick-
Thompson said one way to prevent that School of Human Sciences, and his special- try, and citizens should be as prepared for be key to keeping you safe during an emergency. The Mississippi State University Extension
can be easily prevented. ly in your home. Brent Thompson, owner of Paul Davis Emergency Services in Starkville,
is having your air conditioning unit checked ty is emergency management programming. floods as for hurricanes and tornadoes. Service, along with organizations such as the American Red Cross and the Federal Emer-
With winter fast-approaching, one of the advises annual professional checks of air conditioning units and hot water heaters to help “Should we have an earthquake plan or a
most critical preparation keys is protecting See PROBLEM, 7 prevent the possibility of mold damage to your home. While his office helps in recovery efforts gency Management Administration, offers a wealth of informational resources to help you
throughout the state in the event of emer- wildfire plan or an active shooter plan?” Ak- best prepare for a worst-case scenario.
ers said. “Absolutely. But by and large, we “You’ll want to be able to survive on your
tend to place more focus on what we are own for at least 72 to 96 hours,” Akers said.
most likely to face ... and those fall within “A dedicated emergency supply kit with
the realm of ... risks related to severe weath- carefully planned out resources will serve
er.” as a great resource to you and your family.”
When becoming aware those risks are im- The best places to find those are through
minent, keep phones and laptops charged, the Federal Emergency Management Ad-
and make sure you’re getting up-to-date in- ministration and the American Red Cross,
formation from sources that are both local he said.
and official, Akers said. He recommended FEMA’s emergency supply list for basic
having a working NOAA Weather Radio. families includes:
• gallon of water per person per day for
Communication at least three days (The Red Cross actually
Secondly, he said, is to have a communi- recommends a three-day supply for evacua-
cation plan for the whole family. tion and a two-week supply for home);
Make sure to write down contact in- • a three-day supply of nonperishable
formation for immediate family members food;
and out-of-town family. Keeping those in • battery-powered or hand crank radio
a phone won’t necessarily be enough, he and a NOAA weather radio with extra bat-
added — during disasters, cell phone net- teries for both;
works may become overwhelmed. • flashlights with extra batteries;
Texting information is usually better than • first aid kits;
making calls because it’s less taxing on cell • whistles to get the attention of first re-
networks, he added. sponders or others who can help;
Keep the contact information in a safe • dust masks;
place with insurance and medical infor- • plastic sheeting and duct tape to con-
mation so that you can easily grab it if you struct or repair shelter;
need to evacuate, Akers said. • moist towelettes, garbage bags and
plastic ties to keep yourself and your space
clean;
Supplies
Third, keep emergency supply kits handy. See EMERGENCY, 7
2 SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2017 The Dispatch • www.cdispatch.com ARE YOU READY? ARE YOU READY? The Dispatch • www.cdispatch.com SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2017 7

Emergency
Continued from Page 5
• wrench, pliers or other tools to turn off 866b05ac84daf1ee/checklist_2014.pdf.
utilities;
• can openers for any food in cans; and
• local maps.
Being ready
Last of all, Akers said families should “get
The Red Cross also suggests keeping a involved” — educate neighbors and other
seven-day supply of medications and med- family members on the importance of being
ical items, cell phones with chargers, extra ready.
cash and copies of personal documents. “At the bare minimum, conducting
Of course, Akers added, those supply neighbor checks, with an added focus on
kits will have additional supplies depending those neighbors with special needs in their
on the individual needs of families. FEMA’s households, is a great practice,” he said. “I
list of additional items lists supplies from ex- have seen neighborhoods employ a ‘cap-
tra pet food and water to infant formula and tain’ system where there is a leadership
diapers. structure applied to neighborhood checks.
For a full list of additional items, go to “But that just gets back to being a good
https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/ steward and a good human being,” he add-
1390846764394 - dc08e309debe561d- ed.

Problem
Continued from Page 6
annually to see if it’s working properly or if don’t. It can get behind sheet rock or under
it has water in the drip pan. the floor.”
Another way, he said, is not trying to Adhering to these few tips, he said, can
clean up leaks yourself by just drying what save money and hassle.
you can see. “And it can cost you thousands and
“It’s not the water that you can see that’s thousands of dollars if you don’t,” he add-
the problem,” he said. “It’s the water you ed.
8 SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2017 The Dispatch • www.cdispatch.com ARE YOU READY?

Are you ready?
A local guide to storm preparedness

Sunday, October 29, 2017