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MedWatch Today: Are you prepared if an emergency or disaster strikes?


A disaster or an emergency can strike at any time and the big question is, will you be ready? We have tips for you and your family to be prepared in case anything disastrous happens.

Though we don’t ever want to think about how a disaster could affect our lives, it’s incredibly important to be prepared. Nicole Maul is the spokesperson for the American Red Cross of Central California. She explains, “Being prepared for a disaster is really that first phase of a disaster. Unfortunately we’re really never gonna have too much of a heads up when a disaster is going to strike.”

Nicole said disasters that could hit the Central Valley include, “We’re gonna see power outages, we’re gonna see home fires or wildfires and disasters like that really encourage us to to have to move quickly.”

So what exactly does being prepared entail?

Aaron Dwoskin is the Emergency Manager at Community Medical Centers. He said, “Make a plan, stay informed, and get involved. Stay informed with alerts and notifications from local, state, and federal government resources which can include things such as understanding upcoming weather hazards.”

Aaron said everyone should have an emergency kit filled with water, non-perishable foods, clothing, a radio, flashlights, a first aid kit, extra batteries, and even a whistle to signal for help.

“You want something that’s going to work for you… For example, if you have pets you might need a pet carrier if you’re asked to leave at a moment’s notice, that’s something you don’t want to be scrambling for,” said Nicole.

Both Nicole and Aaron said being prepared for an emergency also means knowing how to physically help yourself and others around you.

Nicole commented, “Have you taken a first aid class? Have you taken CPR? Do you know how to use an AED, because these are really critical life-saving skills that in the event of an emergency you being prepared could actually save someone’s life.”

Aaron advises everyone to have a plan with their friends and family about emergency preparedness, and discuss these four questions:

  1. How will you receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  2. What is my shelter plan?
  3. What is my evacuation route?
  4. What is my family communication plan?

For more information on how to best prepare your family for an emergency, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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