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The importance of preparing for an emergency

Taking the steps to prepare for an emergency could save your life
Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 4:46 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Disasters can strike at any moment during any time of the year. Knowing ahead of time what to do during an emergency could save your life.

In Southwest Virginia we have dealt with several natural disasters just in the past few years, such as major flood events, destructive tornadoes, and intense severe storms.

Heavy rain resulted in flooding along Highway 220.
Heavy rain resulted in flooding along Highway 220.(Lane Thomas)

There is very little we can do to prevent these disasters from happening, but having a plan in place for each type of emergency can make a big difference.

“It really depends on the scenario and what you are dealing with," Chief David Hoback of Roanoke Fire and EMS. “Have your emergency kit and plan so that you can at least get through 36 hours to self-sustain.”

A number of the important items needed for your kit. (NOAA)
A number of the important items needed for your kit. (NOAA)(NOAA)

Each disaster can be unique, which is why doing a bit of research and formulating a plan is crucial.

Knowing where in the house is the safest during a tornado warning, what place to meet outside in case of a fire, or simply where to find critical information in a pinch comes down to doing a bit of research and formulating a plan.

Chief Hoback also emphasized planning shouldn’t just include those in your household.

“Look out for your neighbors. Make sure they are checked on and that they have their needs met as well, because it really is the community coming together when we have a disaster.”

If you are looking where to start, federal agencies such as Ready.gov, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the CDC are all valuable resources for emergency preparedness.

Whether you live by yourself or with a family, there is no bad time to build a plan.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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