Preparedness Tips for Western PA
What does National Preparedness Month mean for Mercer and Lawrence County?
September is National Preparedness Month. For most of the country, this campaign could not come at a better time in light of the recent hurricanes and wildfires affecting people throughout the U.S. and abroad. While it is easy to see how valuable preparedness can be in situations like these, many of us in Mercer and Lawrence County and Western PA may lately have found ourselves wondering where we fit into this campaign.
What are some ways you should be prepared?
Frequent rain and storms can lead to flooding of yards and roadways, causing major problems for drivers and property owners. Floodwaters do not have to be deep to be dangerous to persons or damaging to homes and property.
- Do not walk or drive your vehicle through flooded areas (even if the water does not appear to be deep)
- Do have your home/basement checked for cracks or places where water could enter
- Do take note and consult professionals when places in your home appear damp after rain
Fires can easily start inside a home for a variety of reasons, some as small as the dust bunnies behind your refrigerator.
- Do keep a fire extinguisher in an accessible location- and make sure you know how to use it!
- Do not leave food to cook unattended
- Do not ignore dust behind appliances or in hard-to-reach places where electrical wires are located
Tornadoes are not uncommon in Western PA.
- Do locate the place in your home with the fewest windows to be used as emergency shelter
- Do subscribe to local weather updates on your mobile device
- Do create a family emergency kit that includes essentials and important family documents
Inclement weather and other unexpected disasters can lead to power outages, and it is never clear how long these can last.
- Do familiarize yourself with the lengths of time certain foods can be left out of the refrigerator before they are unsafe to eat
- Do keep flashlights and batteries in known locations in your home
- Do not rely on candles or open flame, as this creates a fire hazard
- Do keep fresh water and non-perishable foods in your home
- Do fill the bathtub with clean water when you receive severe weather forecasts, as this can be used for hygiene and other water-related needs
Let this point not be missed: Preparedness is crucial here in Mercer and Lawrence County.
We may not have found ourselves in the treacherous paths of Harvey or Irma, and we may not be fighting fires spanning thousands of miles; but there are plenty of other things worth preparing for. Plan ahead so you can be ready when disaster strikes!