With September’s designation as National Preparedness Month, Clark County’s Office Emergency Management is participating in several community events throughout September to help the public learn how to be prepared for a range of emergencies.
“Emergency preparedness begins at home,” said Clark County Fire Department Deputy Chief John Steinbeck, who oversees OEM activities in the community. “It’s important to have a plan in place to take care of your family in case an emergency occurs and you’re on your own for a few days before help arrives.”
Officials emphasize three primary steps to prepare for emergencies:
- Get a disaster supply kit. The kit should contain items for you and your family’s basic needs for three days to two weeks, including food and water. Your kit should include provisions for your family’s unique needs, including supplies for infants, medically fragile family members and pets. You also should prepare an emergency kit for your car.
- Create an emergency plan. Family members may not be together when a disaster strikes, so it’s important to plan in advance how you will connect with one another. Choose a primary and secondary meeting place in case an emergency affects your home or neighborhood, and designate an out-of-state contact for family members to call in case you are separated. In an emergency situation, it’s often easier to call out-of-state than within an affected area. Businesses and community organizations should design an emergency plan for employees and conduct safety training, including drills and exercises, to familiarize employees with your plan. Post evacuation routes and locations of building safety features.
- Be informed. In an emergency, stay tuned to local TV or radio stations for alerts, instructions, and official notifications. Have a hand-cranked or battery-powered radio (with extra batteries) on hand in case of a power outage. Use a NOAA weather radio if possible. Emergency Managers also say it’s important to learn about emergency plans in the community and participate in citizen training opportunities. Volunteer with the Southern Nevada chapter of the American Red Cross and other organizations that perform community assistance during emergencies. Learn about the “See Something, Say Something” campaign. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security developed the campaign to thwart terrorism and other criminal activity by encouraging citizens to report suspicious activity to the proper state and local law enforcement agencies. As part of the effort, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and Southern Nevada Counter Terrorism Center have set up a 24-hour hotline for the public to report suspicious activity at (702) 828-8386.
More information about emergency preparedness is available on the County’s website at www.ClarkCountyNV.gov on the Office of Emergency Management and the Fire Department’s web pages. Residents may also sign up to receive a variety of emergency alerts via phone, text and email: Southern Nevada on the Alert System. Emergency Management staff may be available to talk to community groups. For requests, contact the office at (702) 455-5710. Other resources include:
- Federal Emergency Management Agency, Ready.gov;
- American Red Cross, redcross.org; and
- Southern Nevada Health District, southernnevadahealthdistrict.org.
- Nevada Division of Emergency Management, dem.nv.gov