As we continue to watch thenews from the Gulf Coast and provide assistance to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, we whould also take not of the fact that each September is designated as National Preparedness Month.
While most New York residents have not experienced the type of devastation that the survivors of Hurricane Katrina are currently coping with, State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R,C - Schenectady) reminds constituents they should be prepared in case a disaster -- natural or man-made -- happens.
"Remember the ice storms of 1997 that ravaged the North Country? Or the tornado that ripped through Mechanicville in 1998, and the blackout last year that engulfed several states including most of New York?" Senator Farley asked. "In addition, each year portions of our area are affected by flooding and severe storms. Disasters can happen in upstate New York and especially as the winter season approaches, keep the Boy Scouts motto in mind: 'Be Prepared.'"
To highlight the designation of September as National Preparedness Month, Senator Farley offers the following tips:
* Prepare a disaster supply kit that would keep you and your family self-sufficient for three days, including: one gallon of water per person per day, stored in clean plastic containers; non-perishable food; first aid kit, including information on prescription medications and eyeglasses; battery-operated radio, flashlight and extra batteries; extra clothing; blankets or sleeping bags; and important papers such as identification, credit cards and cash.
* Discuss a family escape plan if it becomes necessary to leave your home during a disaster, and practice these plans periodically. Be informed of the disaster plans at your children's school and your workplace.
* Install smoke detectors in your home, check them for proper operation and make sure that you change batteries when you change your clocks (twice a year).
* During an emergency, stay tuned to local radio or television stations to receive instructions and the latest information about the progress of the situation.
Senator Farley said the federal government has published a detailed guide entitled Are You Ready? A Guide to Citizen Preparedness. This 100-page guide provides information on preparing a disaster plan and supply kits, responding to an evacuation order, sheltering n place, and caring for your pet during a disaster. It also offers practical tips for dealing with specific types of natural and man-made disasters. To receive a free copy, call FEMA at (800) 480-2520 or visit www.fema.gov/areyouready to view or download it.
Senator Farley also has brochures on emergency preparedness and free copies are available by calling his offices at 455-2181 (Albany), 843-2188 (Amsterdam), 762-3733 (Johnstown), or toll-free at (800) 224-5201.