Monday, January 11, 2016

Emergency Planning For Families

By Brian K. Newhouse, Director of Emergency Management, Hendry County, FL

Welcome to week 2 of our series on Emergency Preparedness on a budget. Have you ever been witness to an emergency and didn’t know what to do or how to react? Have you stood helplessly and watched as a friend or loved one suffered until professional responders arrived to restore order to a hectic situation? 

When you dial 911, help is only minutes away, but in some situations, seconds could mean the difference between life and death. I’m sure you are asking yourself, “What can I do to help?” The key to any survival situation is preparation and knowledge!

Free is a price anyone can afford! There are many low and no cost resources right here in Hendry County that can help you help yourself. Training is the key. Be it a basic CPR and First Aid class all the way to advanced Incident Management training and a myriad of other specialty classes, you can get it in Hendry County. 

In the past year, the combined emergency services in Hendry County have hosted numerous classes and most were free of charge. Some of the classes included topics such as CPR, Basic Firefighting, Biohazard Investigations, Shelter Management, Management of Faith Based Organizations in Disasters, Incident Command, Logistics, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training and Amateur Radio licensing to name a few. Classes already scheduled for this year include a four class series on Medical Quarantine Operations in Rural Settings, CERT, Amateur Radio and CPR.

You can contact Hendry County Emergency Management at (863) 674-5400 and we will put you in contact with the correct agency to get you trained. While you’re getting trained, you should think about how you can put all the knowledge to good use while keeping your skills sharp by volunteering. 

The Emergency Management Reserve Corps is always looking for volunteers. Age isn’t a factor. We have something for the young and old alike. If it’s an adrenaline rush you’re looking for, every fire department in Hendry County is all volunteer and they are always looking for help. We also have a growing group of Red Cross volunteers responding to the needs of our residents.

Long story short, it is everyone’s responsibility to be prepared by being ready and able to respond to a disaster, large or small. The more prepared you are before a disaster, the less affect it will have on you. We at Hendry County Emergency Management and our various community partners stand by ready to assist in your training needs.

Here’s your Emergency Kit shopping list for week 2:

Week 2: Items to Purchase

Flashlight and batteries
Utility knife
Vise grips
Heavy duty work gloves
Plastic safety goggles
Shopping lists are just a guide. Please adjust to your family’s needs.

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