OSWEGO COUNTY – “Prepared Not Scared” is an appropriate theme for National Preparedness Month, Dale A. Currier, Director of the Oswego County Emergency Management Office, said. “Having a plan to respond to any emergency or disaster gives people something to focus on. Following the plan may save your life or someone else’s.” Ready.gov, a national public service campaign sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal partners, sponsors the annual preparedness campaign in September to remind families and communities to get ready for disasters before they strike. “We’re working to create a culture of preparedness nationwide and within Oswego County, to save lives and to minimize the costs and destruction of a disaster,” Currier said.
Oswego County residents have faced severe winter storms and ice storms, severe thunderstorms, high winds, flooding and flash flooding. “Our families have lived through power outages for weeks at a time,” Currier said. “Hazard events can last a few minutes like a severe thunderstorm, a few days during a Lake Effect snowstorm, or many weeks as we’ve seen in the Lake Ontario shoreline flooding. The effects of those events on our personal lives and homes can last much longer.”
People should take a few actions now to be ready. “Make sure you have a communications plan for your family,” Currier said. “Immediately following a disaster both cell phones and land lines may be inaccessible. Plan to have your family meet at a location away from your home if your home is not habitable.”
A family disaster supplies kit with necessary items including prescription medications, flashlights, cell phone chargers, a battery-powered radio with extra batteries, non-perishable food, and first aid kit should be located in an easily accessible place, both for emergencies that can strand people at home or require people to evacuate for safety. “We urge people to be prepared for at least five days following an emergency, or even more,” Currier said. “It may take many days before first responders can reach you.” Special items for the elderly, children, and pets in the home should also be included.
People should also take steps to receive reliable, accurate information before, during and after an emergency or disaster. County residents are encouraged to register their cell phone numbers on Oswego County’s Hyper-Reach sign-up page at https://secure.hyper-reach.com/comsignup.jsp?id=12481 to receive local emergency alerts. Weather and other alerts can be accessed by signing up for New York Alert at https://alert.ny.gov/ or other weather alert cell-phone apps.
“Planning for emergencies is everyone’s responsibility,” Currier said. “Find out what you can do now to help yourselves, your family, your neighbors and others survive the next emergency.” For more information, visit www.ready.gov or http://oswegocounty.com/emo.shtml. The Oswego County Emergency Management Office can be reached at 315-591-9150.