As Florida, Texas, Louisiana and other states deal with the huge impact of hurricane fallout, the people involved are struggling with the personal side.
The needs are well-publicized. Water. Food. Shelter. Gas.
From thousands of miles away, it might seem like something that couldn’t happen. But in October 2016, residents of communities such as Milesburg and Howard found out that flooding can strike anyone, anywhere.
That’s why the Federal Emergency Management Agency urges people to be ready, and why September is National Preparedness Month.
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Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration is pushing the idea with the “Be Ready, PA!” campaign and a preparedness pledge.
“I know that disasters don’t plan ahead, but I can,” the pledge begins. The promise pushes people to “be informed, be prepared and be involved.”
Centre County Emergency Management Director Jeff Wharren agrees, saying that “flooding is still our most likely threat here in Pennsylvania.”
“With hurricane season upon us the threat of tropical moisture reaching our area is much greater,” he said.
Mount Nittany Medical Center provided these steps to get ready for a disaster:
Preparation: Pay attention to up-to-date information from news sources, secure your home indoors and out, check on evacuation routes or shelters, and make sure everyone in your family knows the plans.
Items to have on hand include: first aid kit and essential medicines; canned food and a manual can opener; drinking water; warm clothing, sheets or a sleeping bag; radio and flashlights, with replacement batteries; charcoal and matches; cash (without power, credit cards and ATMs won’t work).
Dos and don’ts: Keep the radio on hear the latest information; do not go outside; steer clear of trees, cables, utility poles and flooded areas; only use your phone for emergencies; unplug all electronic items; keep away from all doors and windows.
What comes next: Keep away from disaster areas, utility cables or poles, as well as from metallic objects that present an electric shock hazard; do not move injured people; immediately call 911 if you or someone near you is in immediate need of medical assistance; make sure your food is kept clean; use only the drinking water you have stored; take a thorough look at your house and make sure there is no danger; if you were evacuated to a shelter, please do not leave until the local authorities have granted permission.
And stay calm.