September is Emergency Preparedness Month, a time where one needs to think or rethink plans in the case of an emergency from smaller disasters like a house fire to a car wreck to larger emergencies like an earthquake or region-wide ice storm. Calloway County Director of Emergency Management Bill Call joins Kate Lochte on Sounds Good to reflect on preparedness at home.
It's a challenge to remember to be prepared, Bill Call says, "Preparedness is like insurance, it's one of those things you hope you never need, but you know you need it." One hopes to never need to call on the reserve, but can rest easier knowing that there is a plan should the need arise. Disasters can come with an element of surprise and preparedness considers what could or might happen, and how it may impact you or you family, neighborhood and workplace; how to assemble plans and supplies ahead of time to prepare for the unseen.
Call says he's made a number of personal steps to prepare for emergencies: food and water in reserve, multiple means of communications, a generator, and a pop-up camper for shelter if needed. He says he hasn't done a drill in a while (fire alarm or weather radio goes off, what do to), but acknowledges that when his grandchildren come to visit, they should know preparedness, too.
For families with children, Call says, it's even more important to practice a drill. He says our mindset is often, 'I know how to handle this,' but that shouldn't be expected to come naturally for children. They need to be trained. Show them where the smoke alarms are, show them how to get out of the house and where to meet up.
In a small emergency, you may expect responders to help and may only need to prepare for the first few minutes until help arrives (like a household fire or a car wreck) but emergencies can grow into something much larger in scale - like an earthquake or a widespread storm. Emergency responders may not be able to get to you or your house., for instance the bridge could be uncrossable. Individuals may need to fend for themselves for a few hours or a few days, that's where preparedness can really make the difference.
Bill Call is Calloway County Director of Emergency Management.