By the HELP Committee and Havre Public Schools
Every American citizen counts on public servants, such as law enforcement officers and firefighters, to be prepared for emergencies. But what is the individual citizen's responsibility in an emergency?
Project Safe Neighborhoods, a new initiative undertaken by Montana's 12th Judicial District and the HELP Committee, is educating citizens to be prepared as well.
If each household does what it can to be prepared, then neighborhoods and entire communities will benefit. Preparedness at every level strengthens community partnerships and ultimately helps prevent crime.
Fortunately, personal preparedness is not as cumbersome as it may sound. Whether the emergency is a household fire, burglary, flood or even a terrorist threat, every household will have some common needs. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommends taking the following steps to meet those common needs:
Get a kit of emergency supplies.
Make a plan for what you will do in an emergency.
Be informed about what might happen.
Get involved in preparing your community.
A basic kit of emergency supplies should include these items:
One gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation
At least a three-day supply of nonperishable food
Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
Flashlight and extra batteries
First aid kit
Whistle to signal for help
Filter mask or cotton T-shirt, to help filter air
Moist towelettes for sanitation
Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
Manual can opener to open canned food included in the three-day nonperishable supply
Plastic sheeting and duct tape to create a shelter-in-place
Garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
Unique family needs, such as daily prescription medications, infant formula, diapers and important family documents. Don't forget to plan for the needs of pets or livestock as well.
For more information about neighborhood safety, contact the HELP Committee and Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Line at 265-6206.