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Dickinson officials encourage people to be prepared in the event of an emergency

When severe weather hits, there likely isn't time to go to the grocery store to stock up on everything you may need to provide for yourself and family for an extended period of time. So, local leaders are encouraging people to be prepared and pla...

Basic list items to include in an Emergency Supply List from FEMA.
Basic list items to include in an Emergency Supply List from FEMA.

When severe weather hits, there likely isn't time to go to the grocery store to stock up on everything you may need to provide for yourself and family for an extended period of time. So, local leaders are encouraging people to be prepared and plan for any type of emergency.

September is National Preparedness Month, which reminds people to be prepared for any type of emergency no matter if people are at home, work or away visiting friends. This year's theme is "Don't wait, communicate. Make your emergency plan today."

Dickinson assistant city engineer Loretta Marshik said it is important to be prepared for any kind of emergency, whether it's a tornado, flood, snowstorm or any other type of emergency.
Marshik said these kits should include things like canned food, bottled drinking water, a first aid kit, extra blankets, as well as any medication a person may need.

"People don't think about it being an issue until something happens," she said. "So, even on a small scale if we can get people at least thinking about it I think that's just going to help us going forward."

Dickinson Fire Chief Bob Sivak said people should have a checklist of items and do their best to put them all in a portable, plastic tub that can be easily accessed when an emergency comes up. Sivak also encourages people to have a battery-operated weather radio, in addition to warm clothing for a winter storm and an additional means of lighting including candles with candle holders for safety.

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Sivak said that a lot of items people use for camping can also be used in an emergency kit, such as camp lanterns, sleeping bags and tents that can provide another means protection and living for a short amount of time.

"People just need to be aware," Sivak said. "They don't need to be panicked by things like that. They just need to be aware that 'gee maybe I should have some supplies on hand.' ... Just make sure that they're not caught unaware and the vehicle is good shape and there's gasoline in the tank."

Marshik said it's also important to remember to plan for the four-legged family members and make sure there is enough food and water for dogs and cats.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency suggests people also have an extra cellphone with a battery on hand if their phone should die during the emergency as well as Flashlight and extra batteries.

FEMA said it is also important to communicate the plan to family members and others who may need help during a natural disaster.

"Just be aware and conscious of it I think is really important," Mashik said. "I think by getting it out there may be you just get the right person or they tell another person. ... Getting informed is always good."

If there is a need to heat a home, Sivak says people should not use charcoal briquettes or space heaters as they can both be very dangerous and may lead to fires if they are not properly taken care of.

Sivak said it ultimately comes down to being aware of what is going on and to use common sense when making a plan.

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"It's pre-planning," Sivak said. "... There's very very simple things people can do and steps they can take to make sure that they can survive an event until the power is restored or until help gets to them. So common sense is the main thing."

For a list of suggested items check out www.ready.gov/kit .

Basic list items to include in an Emergency Supply List from FEMA.
Basic list items to include in an Emergency Supply List from FEMA.

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