Be prepared for emergencies

ALAMOSA — Kay Crowder, director of SLV Emergency Management, gave a presentation on disaster preparedness at the Alamosa Senior Citizens Center on Thursday.

Crowder likened the concept of emergency preparation to the saying “a journey of a 1,000 miles begins with a single step.” Crowder also pointed out to those in attendance that disaster awareness “begins with you.” Being prepared can also help to reduce anxiety and fear in the event of a disaster.

There are three specific steps that were offered to be ready in the event of an emergency: 1) get informed 2) make a plan 3) get a kit.

It is also important to recognize when a disaster is a situation where it is better to stay put such as a severe winter storm or if evacuation is required such as with a fire. Crowder encouraged having a support network and staying in touch with that network. Tools such as social media are also useful ways to be informed, she said.

Crowder also noted that individuals should have a plan for themselves, family, pets, their neighborhood and organization. There should also be a designated meeting place in the event of an emergency. Individuals should also keep a file of personal information with emergency contacts and keep it up to date.

In addition, families should keep kits for the house as well as a portable one. These kits should include essential items such as a first aid kit and drinkable water. The evacuation plan should also be rehearsed with family members. Planning ahead to find which options for shelter might be the best fit is also highly advisable.

Crowder observed that preparing for an emergency could be an extensive process. However, “baby steps are better than no steps at all,” she said.