Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local News

September 1, 2012

Emergency Preparedness Fair set for Saturday

AMERICUS — The Americus-Sumter County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) is hosting an Emergency Preparedness Fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Sumter County Fairgrounds/ The purpose of the event is to educate, prepare and assist the citizens in Americus, Sumter County and the surrounding area in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.

Nigel Poole, of the Flint River Chapter of the American Red Cross, says several local agencies are partnering for the inaugural event to ensure its success because they realize the need for the community to be prepared for a disaster such as the 2007 tornado that left areas of Americus completely destroyed.

Poole said in the months following the 2007 tornado here, emergency preparedness was a hot topic that was on a lot of people’s minds, but five years later some mindsets may have changed.

Agencies taking part in the Emergency Preparedness Fair along with Flint River American Red Cross and the LEPC, include Sumter EMC, Americus Police Department and Fire and Emergency Services, Georgia State Patrol, Sumter County Fire Department and Sheriff’s Office, Vital Care EMS, Sumter County Health Department, Phoebe Sumter Medical Center, GEMA, Sumter County Emergency Management Division, Air Evac Lifetea, CERT, WDR and Agrium.

“We want to encourage people from around the area to come by as well,” said Poole, adding that there will be plenty of information for families to take home to help them be prepared in the event of a disaster.

“When families are prepared, it transitions easily to the community,” he said.

Along with agencies and organizations putting out good information about anything from the dangers of a house fire to tropical storms, there will also be demonstrations. Exum Power Equipment will provide a demonstration on chainsaw safety and the Sumter County Fire Department and Americus Fire and Emergency Services will cooperatively perform an extrication demonstration. In addition, hazardous materials demonstrations will also be conducted. In addition to presenting information on preparedness skills, those in attendance will also learn how to become volunteers with emergency response agencies.

Poole says many communities are holding Emergency Preparedness events in order to educate their citizens on how to be prepared for natural or man-made disasters. He pointed out that coincidentally, Enterprise, Ala., a town that was also struck by a tornado on March 1, 2007, will be having its own Emergency Preparedness Fair on Sept. 8.

In addition to injuries, deaths and property loss, when a disaster strikes it can cost communities jobs and shut down local businesses indefinitely. These losses can escalate and lead to reduced property values and other community blight.

The Americus/Sumter County LEPC wants to help residents and elected officials understand the importance of investing in disaster preparedness now to protect the future of our community and its citizens.

The goal is for citizens and visitors to be prepared for, prevent, respond to and recover from all natural or man-made disasters.

The fair on Saturday will also include free hot-dogs and popcorn. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

 

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