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Be prepared!

PRINCETON — A local agency has developed a budget-friendly, six-month plan for Bureau County families and individuals to get their emergency preparedness kits ready and in place.

Lisa Clinton, spokesperson with the Bureau/Putnam County Health Department Emergency Preparedness group, said the budget-friendly plan encourages people to prepare for disasters before they happen. The goal is to have basic supplies on hand in order to survive for at least three days after an emergency. Not only are there basic supplies which should be kept on hand, but families should also consider where they live and the unique needs of their family to create an emergency supply kit which will meet those needs, she said, adding the start of the new year in January is a perfect time to begin building an emergency kit.

There are several advantages in spreading the building of disaster preparedness kits over a six-month period. For one thing, people wouldn’t incur all the expenses at one time. Also, the work and “To Do” lists of each week’s schedule doesn’t have to be done all at one time. Plus, by spreading the work and expense of the emergency kits throughout the six-month period, people will also be keeping emergency preparedness before them and in the forefront of their minds each week, she said.

Clinton said the important thing about emergency preparedness kits is simply to have one.

In the event of a disaster, like a tornado or blizzard, area response teams and help groups could be overwhelmed, so people will do much better if they are prepared to handle their own needs for at least a few days, she said.

“It’s very important that individuals and families are prepared as best as they can be in the event of an emergency,” Clinton said.

For additional information on creating a budget-friendly emergency kit, visit   www.bpchd.org or www.ready.gov  .

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

Special items for emergency kits

• Infant Items: Formula, diapers, bottles, pacifiers; powdered milk, infant medications.
• Adult/Senior Items: Prescription medications, vision care items (extra glasses/contact lenses and supplies), diabetic supplies, denture needs, hearing aid batteries.
• Persons with Disabilities/Special Needs: Communication board, specialized care items (oxygen, catheters, etc.), a list of prescription medications (including dosage and physician’s name) and the type and model numbers of required medical devices, portable wheelchair.
Also, persons should wear, if needed, a medical alert ID and register with the office of emergency services or the local fire department for assistance, so needed help can be provided. If you are dependent on a dialysis machine or other life-sustaining equipment or treatment, know the location and availability of more than one facility. Make sure your support network knows your information and can operate any devices you need.
• Pet Items: Your pets should always wear a collar and ID/rabies tags. Include food, water, bowls, leash/harness, crate/carrier, medical and vaccination records, sanitation needs (pet litter and litter box, newspapers, plastic bags) and a photo of you and your pet in your preparedness kit.

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