Stay viligant for what may come

Published 8:33 pm Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Who living could forget Sept. 11, 2001?

It is forever etched in our memories the images of planes slamming into U.S. buildings in New York and Washington and a field in Pennsylvania. Then came the word of terrorists’ actions.

People in the nation were stunned.

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The events of Sept. 11 taught us a hard-earned lesson: An ocean does not necessarily mean safety.

As time goes on memory sometimes diminishes. Our vigilance should not. We should stay prepared for any event, natural or human-made.

September is National Preparedness Month. With it come reminders of what we can do to prepare ourselves should terrorists strike again or should we fall victim to some natural disaster.

Homeland security recommends that every family make a kit. Gather the necessary items for a family in this mix of things. For instance, a gallon of water per person per day for at least three days is sufficient. Same thing with food. Flashlights, battery-powered or hand-cranked radio, first aid kit, dust mask and tools are some of the other items a family needs in its supply kit.

People need to remember their prescription medications and have plenty of them. Pets will need food. Babies will need formula and diapers.

Important documents, such as copies of insurance policies, bank account information and various kinds of identification also will help.

Second, the family needs a plan. The family might not be together when an emergency arises. Families need to plan in advance about how they will contact one another and get back together. Several plans are needed to cover different situations.

Next, know about the different types of emergency situations that could happen in your area and how to respond to them. For instance, here in Dallas County, tornadoes, floods and the occasional ice storm are our greatest natural threats. The type of situation will determine the decisions you make and the actions you take to handle difficult situations.

Finally, get involved. Call the Dallas County Emergency Management Agency and find out how to become a member of the Citizens Corps. Attend safety meetings at work and learn more about first aid.

The more all of us are prepared, the better off we’ll all be the next time a disaster strikes.