Prepaing for the worst, hoping for the best

It’s always better to prepare and not need it than to not prepare and need it. That was the mentality that a couple RSVP volunteers presented to attendees of the Thursday meeting of Seniors and Law Enforcement Together, SALT, in Stratford.

Maribeth Martin and Delores Lamb, RSVP volunteer severe weather preparedness educators, talked about the importance of preparation during severe weather preparedness month. The volunteers were educated on how to put together disaster kits by Phil Queen, Hamilton County emergency management coordinator.

“The two ladies felt like they learned a lot, and they were able to pass that information along to their peers,” Koppen said.

Becky Koppen, RSVP volunteer coordinator, said the presenters recommended that people build two separate kits. One of those kits should be prepared for a situation where a person is stuck in their home during an ice storm, tornado, or another emergency that would require them to stay in shelter for up to three days. Another should be planned for if a person has to leave their home quickly.

Emergency kits should include basic tools for survival. That includes water, a flashlight, a first aid kit, blankets, a radio, a pocket knife and more. Koppen said that one of the meeting attendees asked about what people on medication should do. The educators said that keeping about a week’s worth of medication, and changing it out in the kit if it expires, could be life saving for that individual depending on what the medication is, such as insulin.

“It’s important, for you as an individual, to think about what is it that I need to have on hand should I be stuck and not able to get to what I’m normally able to get to for up to three days,” Koppen said.

Another thing to consider preparing before an emergency is a person’s important documents. Koppen said documents such as a deed to a home, a title to a car, a social security card or a marriage or birth certificate should be kept in one safe place outside of a person’s home.

“If there’s a tornado, a fire or a flood in your home, it’s important to have dealt with your important documents in advance and have the really important things in a safe place outside your home,” Koppen said.

She also said that having those items in one place would make it easier for family members to compile if that person passed away.