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Local Council Aims to Educate Residents What to Do in Event of Emergencies

January 20, 2005       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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      Bay County is now part of the nationwide Citizens Corps, a preparedness effort under the Department of Homeland Security.

      Sponsors are the American Red Cross, Bay County and MSU Extension.

      The effort is being developed through the office of County Executive Thomas L. Hickner and Mike Gray, director of administrative services.

      Bay County Citizens Corps co-ordinator Paul Cormier says the council's first initiative will be in educating the public about what to do in event of an emergency.

      For more information you may access the Bay County website at or contact Patricia Bostick, solution area planner, 895-2016, mailto: )

The following information from the USA Freedom Corps is provided as a public service of

     Are You Ready? We live in adifferent world than we did before September 11, 2001. We are more aware of our vulnerabilities, more appreciative of our freedoms, and more understanding that we have a personal responsibility for the safety of our families, our neighbors and our nation.

      But we also know that we can take action now to help protect our families, help reduce the impact an emergency has on our lives, and help deal with the chaos if an incident does occur.

      We encourage you to review the many Citizen Preparedness Publications, including Are You Ready? A Guide For Citizen Preparedness, and information on creating a Family Disaster Plan (PDF) and preparing a Family Disaster Supplies Kit (PDF) to last for at least 3 days, including drinkable water,non-perishable food (including pet food), first aid supplies, other emergency supplies like flashlights and batteries, clothes and bedding, and specialty items. Disaster Supply Kits should also be prepared for your car and workplace.

      In addition, the Department of Homeland Security has developed a website,, to help you prepare for the potential threats we now face as we enter this new era of potential warfare and terrorism here at home.

      We also encourage you to get involved in helping others be safer -- when you help your neighbor, you help your nation. Share what you learn with others -- and participate in Citizen Corps in your area. If you don't have a Citizen Corps Council in your area, contact your state Citizen Corps representative and work with your local officials to get one started.

      Here are some other things you can do right now to be safer!

      Check and change the batteries in your smoke alarms and replace all alarms that are more than 10 years old.

      Make sure you know where your local fire department, police station, and hospital are and post a list of emergency phone numbers posted near all the telephones in your home.

      Organize and practice a family fire drill -- make sure your children know what your smoke detector sounds like and what to do if it goes off when they are sleeping.

      Locate the utility mains for your home and be sure you know how to turn them off manually: gas, electricity, and water.

      Create an emergency plan for your household, including your pets. Decide where your family will meet if a disaster does happen: 1) right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire and 2) outside your neighborhood in case you can't return home -- ask an out of town friend to be your "family contact" to relay messages.

      Prepare a 3-day disaster supply kit, complete with flashlights, batteries, blankets, and an emergency supply of water and food (and pet food!).

      Plan to hold a Neighborhood Watch meeting -- your local Sheriffs' office or police station can help you get started or visit for more information.###

Check the expiration dates of all over-the-counter medications -- discard all that are expired and replace any that are routinely needed. Make sure all cleaning products and dangerous objects are out of children's reach. Plan to sign up for a first aid training course. Call your local American Red Cross chapter, the National Safety Council or American Safety & Health Institute to ask about courses in your area ( , or ). Visit with your neighbors and discuss how you would handle a disaster in your area. Talk to neighbors with special needs and help them become safer too!

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Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at

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