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Preparedness is a Shared Commitment: September 2023 Mayor's Corner

emergency_kitSeptember is National Preparedness Month! As your Mayor, one of my priority responsibilities is supporting the safety and well-being of our community. While we take pride in our vibrant and resilient town, disasters can strike at any moment – from earthquakes, floods, and wildfires to power outages or industrial accidents. We cannot prevent all disasters, but it is essential that we all take steps to be as prepared as possible and minimize their negative impact on our lives. 

The City has an Emergency Operations Plan and is a partner in the Washington County Emergency Management Cooperative which works to develop and maintain a countywide, integrated system for preparing and responding to disasters. However, it is very important that we all individually take steps to be ready in case of an emergency. Preparedness is a shared commitment to safeguarding our families, neighbors, and the entire community, and I urge all community members and businesses to be prepared. 

Here are five easy steps you can take:

  1. Create an Emergency Plan: Sit down with your family and discuss an action plan for various scenarios. Identify meeting points, contact information, roles and responsibilities, and necessary supplies. 
  2. Build an Emergency Kit: Work toward having at least a two-week supply of non-perishable food, water, and emergency supplies including first aid items, flashlights, and batteries. Don’t forget supplies for your pets. A well-equipped emergency kit can sustain you during the critical initial hours of a disaster. 
  3. Support Vulnerable Neighbors: Reach out to elderly neighbors, individuals with disabilities, or those who may need assistance during an emergency. Building a strong network of support within our community is crucial.
  4. Learn Lifesaving Skills: Enroll in first aid, CPR, and other relevant training courses. These skills can make a significant difference in critical moments.
  5. Secure Important Documents: Keep important documents such as identification, insurance papers, and medical records in a safe and easily accessible place.

A helpful source of information, including resources like sample plans and emergency kit content lists, is www.ready.gov. The City’s website also has an emergency management page under the “Community” and “Public Works” sections. 

Disaster preparedness is an ongoing effort and by being prepared, we contribute to a safer, more resilient community. By preparing today, we can ensure a brighter, safer tomorrow for us all.

~ Mayor Teri