MOUNT VERNON — Midday Matters, sponsored by the Knox County Chamber of Commerce, welcomed Rick Drenning of AmeriCorps to their Jan. 26 luncheon at The Alcove. AmeriCorps is funded through a federal grant and is currently supporting the American Red Cross, serving them in their educational efforts of addressing issues of being prepared in the face of disaster. Drenning presented a video titled “Be Red Cross Ready For Disaster.”
The video was divided into three segments. Segment one, Disaster Preparedness, offered a variety of tips for people in cases when a disaster occurs, such as an earthquake, hurricane, flood or tornado, or just when electrical power is interrupted for an extended period. Three main steps included were 1) get a kit, 2) make a plan and 3) be informed. Of utmost priority is organizing an emergency kit which should hold items for the family to live on for three days or longer. Items to put in the kit should be water, non-perishable food, warm clothes, flashlight, batteries, first aid kit, can opener and specific family needs.
Making a plan means knowing an evacuation route, contacting family members, knowing where to go and having a supply of needs on hand.
Being informed involves knowing when and where disaster can occur, knowing how authorities can notify you and having access to information through a radio or other form of communication.
The second segment, Food and Water in an Emergency, gave tips on what food items to pack in an emergency kit and how to properly store drinking water. A gallon of water per day per person should be prepared for consuming and for personal hygiene. Food should be non-perishable items that require no refrigeration, cooking or preparation. Always consider those family members with special needs and think of pets’ needs as well.
The final segment on evacuation planning suggested tips on knowing where to go, planning an evacuation route, practicing a simulated evacuation and knowing community warning signals.
Carol Grubaugh, executive director of the Knox County Chamber of Commerce, thanked Drenning for his informative presentation. “Things do happen in Knox County,” said Grubaugh, encouraging everyone to go to www.redcross.org for more information. “It’s not a matter of ‘if,’ but rather ‘when.’ Just be prepared.”
The next Midday Matters will be a candidate forum at noon on Thursday, Feb. 23, at the Dan Emmett Conference and Convention Center.