Hope for the best, be prepared for the worst | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Hope for the best, be prepared for the worst

Staff report

As part of National Preparedness month, El Dorado County wants residents from Placerville to Lake Tahoe to prepare their families for emergencies, including making a family contact plan, preparing a supply kit, being informed about potential threats and getting involved in preparing your community.

Emergencies or disasters may occur anywhere, and at any time, in El Dorado County. You should be prepared to respond to any disaster that could occur in your area – extreme heat or cold, flooding, wildfires, or terrorism. Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and losses that accompany disasters. Families and individuals should know what to do in the event of a fire and where to seek shelter during a blizzard.

They should be ready to evacuate their homes and take refuge in public shelters and know how to care for their basic medical needs. You should also be ready to be self-sufficient for at least three days. This may mean providing for your own shelter, first aid, food, water and sanitation.

The California Office of Emergency Services reminds all Californians that in a disaster, emergency personnel will focus first on those in greatest danger who are in critical need of assistance. It is important that those who are able to do so look after themselves, their families and their neighbors.

To prepare your family for an emergency, the following steps are suggested:

— Create an Emergency Supply Kit. Build a disaster supply kit for your home and vehicle. If you are stranded in your car or have to be self-sufficient at home until help arrives, you need to have a disaster kit. For a list of recommended supplies go to http://www.ready.gov.

— Make a Plan. Create a family disaster plan. Your family needs a plan that details the following: where to meet if you have to evacuate, who you’ve identified as out-of-state family contact; how to get emergency information in your community, and how to take care of your family pets. To download templates to help get you started, go to http://www.ready.gov.

— Be Informed. What are the hazards where you live or work? Do you live near a flood plain, an earthquake fault, or in a high fire danger area? Find out what natural or human caused disasters pose a risk. Are you prepared for an unexpected human-made disaster that can strike at any time? Find out if your neighborhood or community has a disaster plan.

— For information and other links about emergency preparedness, please visit El Dorado County Department of Environmental Management’s Disaster Preparedness Web site at http://www.co.el-dorado.ca.us/emd/preparedness.html. or El Dorado County’s Emergency Preparedness & Bioterrorism Information Web site at http://www.co.el-dorado.ca.us/emergency_preparedness.htm.

— Information is also available at the El Dorado County Environmental Management Offices. The South Lake Tahoe office is located at 3368 Lake Tahoe Blvd., Suite 303.

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