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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, September 20, 2019

Health Department: ‘Be prepared’




The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department is reminding residents that “all disasters are local” and encouraging households to be prepared to care for themselves during the first three days of an incident.

Health Department Emergency Response Coordinator Maegan Kerr says it takes time to mobilize the resources to respond to a disaster, so families need to plan now for how to respond.

“We cannot stress enough that individuals and families be ready to provide for their own needs during a disaster,” Kerr says. “You’ll forget things when you’re under stress.”

Key elements of a family plan include enough nonperishable food, water and medicine to last three days, a battery-operated radio and spare batteries and a communication plan so family members can contact each other if the disaster strikes when they’re apart.

“Include children in this discussion and review and practice your plan every time you change your clocks for daylight saving time,” Kerr recommends.

More detailed recommendations can be found at ready.gov and hamiltonready.org.

While a readiness plan should be able to meet any type of incident, some incidents are more likely to occur in Hamilton County than others, Kerr adds. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency has identified 13 hazards of greatest risk to Tennesseans. They are: drought, earthquake, extreme temperatures, wildfire, flood, geologic, severe weather, tornado, communicable disease, dam or levee failure, hazardous material release, terrorism and critical infrastructure failure.

“Consider how to adapt your plans to these hazards,” Kerr says.

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Source: Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department