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EPFD, OEM encouraging El Paso families to be prepared in case of an emergency

EL PASO, Texas -- September is National Preparedness Month. It's an important time to discuss plans with you and your family to be proactive.

"The biggest tip is to always be ready. You never know when a disaster or an emergency is going to happen. So it's better to be prepared and be prepared," said Brandon Donat, an Emergency Management Specialist with the El Paso Office of Emergency Management.

One of the best ways to do that is to create an emergency preparedness kit. This is something that can come in handy in case you and your family are stranded and are left without power for several days.

If you have canned food, keep it in a cool, dry place and make sure their closed tightly

You'll want to keep your kit in a designated place ready to go and make sure you everyone in your family knows where it is.

During this time it's also important to come up with an emergency plan. This means knowing which types of disasters could impact you like floods and severe winds. Also plan how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. You'll want to establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find. You can also update your plans regularly to fit the needs of your family. And of course, don't forget about your pets.

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health will be hosting a Preparedness Jeopardy Game Night at 6 p.m. Thursday, September 29 at the Chamizal Recreation Center, 2119 Cypress Ave. The event is free to the public. There you'll be able create your own kit, learn how to prepare in case of a fire, get tips to stay safe as well as win various prizes.

Here is a complete list of items you should consider when building your kit courtesy of an extension of U.S. Homeland Security:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation)
  • Food (at least a several-day supply of non-perishable food)
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
  • Manual can opener (for food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

Other supplies include:

  • Masks (for everyone ages 2 and above), soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces
  • Prescription medications.
  • Non-prescription medications like pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
  • Prescription eyeglasses and contact lens solution
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler's checks
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

Below are other PSAs you can take a look at that can help you and your family:
Courtesy of the Office of Emergency Management
Courtesy of the Office of Emergency Management

Article Topic Follows: El Paso

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Brianna Chavez


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