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Summer is approaching – are you prepared?

May 14, 2024 07:46AM ● By Cindi Mansell

Emergency events such as downed poles and power outages can impact safety in the community but having a good preparedness plan in place can mitigate the impact. Courtesy photo

Several emergencies and disasters are more common during the summer months: heatwaves, wildfires, severe thunderstorms, droughts, floods, power outages, or water-related incidents. Being prepared and taking proactive measures can help mitigate the impacts of these summer emergencies and disasters, ensuring the safety and well-being of individuals and communities.

As summer draws near, it’s crucial to be vigilant for signs of heat-related illness. Relying solely on fans for cooling can be deceptive; while they create airflow, they do not effectively reduce body temperature. Instead, take proactive steps like covering windows with drapes or shades, weather-stripping doors and windows, and using window reflectors to deflect heat. Insulating your home, using attic ventilation, and installing air conditioners can all help keep indoor temperatures manageable. 

Moreover, reducing oven use and seeking shade outdoors are practical ways to beat the heat. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat and staying hydrated are essential for outdoor activities. It’s advisable to avoid strenuous activities during the hottest parts of the day and to check on vulnerable individuals, including pets and elderly neighbors. Never leave people or pets in a closed car, as temperatures can quickly become dangerous.

In the event of a disaster or emergency, ensuring water safety is paramount. Boiling water or using bleach (eight drops or a little less than 1/8 of a tablespoon of 5-9% unscented household bleach per 1 gallon of water) can effectively eliminate harmful bacteria and viruses. Additionally, investing in a water filter designed to remove parasites can provide an added layer of protection.

Maintaining visible house numbers is crucial for swift emergency response, particularly for the fire department. Bold, contrasting numbers, along with reflective or illuminated options, enhance visibility – especially at night. Regular cleaning and positioning near the front door ensure that responders can quickly locate your residence. By following these simple guidelines, you contribute to a safer and more efficient emergency response in your community.

No matter the season, preparing for emergencies is key to safeguarding your family. Assigning roles and practicing your plan can make all the difference in a crisis. Utilize resources from organizations like the American Red Cross or FEMA to develop a comprehensive emergency preparedness strategy tailored to your needs. With proactive measures and proper planning, you can ensure a safer and more secure summer for you and your community.

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