September is National Preparedness Month in Grays Harbor



September is National Preparedness Month in Grays Harbor

Homes along Queets Avenue were devastated when a mudslide took out several homes. You never know when Mother Nature will strike and communities need to be prepared for any eventuality.

Emergency Management is providing essential tips to the public that will help during times of disaster.

With coastal communities of Grays Harbor at threat of Tsunami and interiors with flooding and the current largest wildfire season the state has seen in recent times, these tips will help serve those who find themselves in situations where you need a little extra survivability.

The best way to handle a disaster is to be prepared for several eventualities. Keep a stock of ready to go items, or "Go-Bags" as well as receive training in basic skills that will help save yourself and your family in a time of need. Through the month of September daily tips are being provided with additional resources like training sites or extended information for people to collect and have on hand should they need them. Many businesses have evacuation plans and employees have specific roles based on the type of disaster, schools run drills through out the year to make sure they are as prepared as possible should disaster strike. A family should be just as prepared. Many families already have plans incase of a house fire, like exit strategies and meeting places outside of the home. The same will work in times of earthquakes, floods or tsunami or any unexpected event that needs immediate reaction to save life. Communities, schools and churches have been making plans for years and exercise periodically with drills and exercises.

Earthquakes can happen at any time in the Pacific Northwest. There are earthquakes on a daily basis in Washington State. Washington has experienced extremely large earthquakes such as the 1700 Earthquake and Tsunami which impacted coastal tribal nations in North America as well as affecting Japan from the resulting tsunami. Many remember the Satsop and Nisqually earthquakes. These were fairly significant however, we are at risk for far larger earthquakes at any time. There are two newly discovered earthquake fault lines running directly through Grays Harbor County.

The recent "high water" that triggered mud slides directly impacted neighborhoods in Grays Harbor County and caused damage that some are still cleaning up from. It is a testement to the Grays Harbor community that people did join together to assist those who were impacted.

Grays Harbor County Emergency Management has been posting vital preparedness information at their website; http://www.co.grays-harbor.wa.us/info/dem/Index.asp as well as their Facebook page; Grays-Harbor-County-Emergency-Management. Topics deal with a variety of preparedness tips like; recharging your cell phone with a 9-volt battery, courses you can take to help you be better prepared, sources of water during a time of disaster and tips for your pets.

Through the month of September Grays Harbor Emergency Management will be providing a daily list of tips that residents can clip and save to possibly create a survival handbook.

Keep in mind that the tips provided are only a small portion of information that residents can get and families should make a self-assessment first of their specific needs and skills they may possess. It is also a good idea to talk with neighbors or groups that are already making preparations to get an overall view of what may or may not work for you.