In recent years, the town of Chesterfield has experienced flooding, wildfires and a devastating ice storm, in addition to the “normal” challenges nature throws our way. As with most emergency situations, a little advance planning and preparation will minimize inconvenience, and help to keep you and those you care about safe, healthy and secure.
Make a Plan
Decide in advance where you will go, who will be a point of contact outside of the immediate area, and what you will need to meet basic needs over a period of at least three days.
Stockpile Basic Supplies
Make sure that you have what you need to survive for a few days without outside assistance. This may include putting together a cache of non-perishable food, water for drinking and sanitary needs, fuel, cash, personal items and critical medications.
Assemble a “Go” Kit
Put must-have items in a duffle or other container to have them ready to go at a moment’s notice. This will allow you to evacuate, if called for, without delay.
Don’t compound a difficult situation by becoming part of the problem. Don’t panic, don’t take chances, and do follow both common sense and official guidance. Be particularly careful in using emergency generators and heating sources, as failure to follow safe usage guidelines can, and often does, result in tragedy.
Watch Out for Others
If you have friends or neighbors who may not be as able to take care of themselves, make it a point to look out for them. This might include helping them prepare, bringing them needed supplies, or simply checking in from time to time.
Everyone involved in an emergency situation is dealing with the stresses inherent in disaster. This is as true for emergency responders and administrative staff as it is for victims. By having realistic expectations, and staying calm and courteous, you can help speed the recovery, rather than making a difficult time worse for everybody.