Mayor’s Message for May
Emergency Preparedness - Be informed. Be prepared.
Any citizen that lives in and around Enumclaw should be aware that our community is located in an area in which natural disaster can happen. Whether it might be the eruption of a dormant volcano to an earthquake, each household should be prepared with food, medical and other needed supplies to sustain each family member.
It has been said that we need emergency items to last at least 72 hours before any assistance might arrive. It has also been said that a much longer time frame should be prepared for, such as 3 weeks. If it is an extreme event affecting most of Puget Sound, emergency personnel will be overwhelmed. That could mean Enumclaw will be on its own possibly cut off from other communities. Be ready, be prepared.
So what can a family do now to be ready, just in case. Develop an emergency plan. This might include what you and family members should do if disaster strikes during the middle of a week day. What are the routes you may need to take to get home safely. Have several maps printed and kept in your car as you cannot be sure that your Smart Phone mapping app will even function. What is your children’s school emergency plans? Ask how the school will communicate with families during a crisis. Ask if the school stores adequate food, water, and other basic supplies. Find out if the school is prepared to shelter-in-place if need be, and where they plan to go if they must get away. Additional information can be found at various government and private organization web sites, such as the American Red Cross and FEMA.
There are utilities that may need to be shut off during a natural disaster to prevent additional destruction to your home; natural gas, water and electricity. Because there are different shut-off procedures for each utility and different configurations, it is important to contact your local utility company for guidance. Each family member may be informed on the shut off procedures.
If an earthquake, winter storm, or other disaster strikes our community, you might not have access to food, water, and electricity for days, or even weeks. By taking some time now to store emergency food and water supplies, you could provide for your entire family. This kit could include one gallon of water per person, per day. Non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food items. Flashlight with extra batteries. Hand crank radio (Enumclaw has an AM radio station that is solely maintained to transmit messages in a time of emergency. Citizens should note that if needed, to tune their radio to 1650 AM for current information in a time of emergency or disaster). First aid kit. Extra medications and medical items. Emergency blankets. The list is longer and encourage you to check other web sites for more information as you build your kit.
Be informed. Learn the types of disasters or emergencies that may likely occur in our area. These events can range from those affecting only you and your family, like a home fire or medical emergency, to those affecting your entire community, like an earthquake or flood. Identify how local authorities will notify you during a disaster and how you will get information, whether through local radio, TV or NOAA Weather Radio stations. When a major disaster occurs, our community can change in an instant. Loved ones may be hurt and emergency response is likely to be delayed. Make sure that at least one member of your household is trained in first aid and CPR. Know your children’s school emergency plan. If you go to the school, the doors will likely be locked to keep your children safe as they shelter-in-place.
If one thought has come to mind while reading this month’s message, it hopefully is that preparing for an emergency can involve several items for you and your family. Take things step-by-step as you prepare. Do not become overwhelmed as you plan and prepare methodically. Use these resources at either Federal Emergency Management Agency better known as FEMA and the American Red Cross. Both have web sites with additional preparation information. Listed here are those two sites;
Mark your calendars now as there is an Emergency Preparedness Fair tentatively being planned for Saturday, September 15 at the Enumclaw Expo Center. More information will follow in the coming months.