CEDAR CITY — Are you prepared for when the worst comes? Whether it be by natural disaster, virus outbreak or the collapse of modern government, most people agree that the world has the potential to go very wrong. The Iron County annual Emergency Preparedness Expo, held Saturday at Heritage Center Theater, set out to educate Iron Country residents on how to prepare for disaster with the theme “Do 1 thing.”
The expo had tables from different vendors specializing in emergency preparations, including Questar Gas, Thrive Life Foods, Tunnel Gardening and Be Ready Utah. There were also ticket raffles throughout the day with prizes from the vendors and speakers who all specialized in a different aspect of emergency preparedness. Topics included “You, Your Weapon and the Law” and “Financial Preparedness” among others.
Home food storage
Jane Shaffer, a service missionary with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was helping out at the expo at the home storage center table.
“We’ve heard all the rumors, but I try to prepare for natural disasters. … We’re overdue for an earthquake,” Shaffer said.
Shelf life for the home storage canned food ranges from a year and a half for potato pearls to 30 years for apple slices, dry onions and hard white wheat.
Preparing for your pets
Though most people prepare for themselves and their family, it is important that they don’t forget their pets. Julienne Meron with the Utah Emergency Animal Response Coalition presented a talk titled “Preparing with Pets.” She spoke about the importance of having emergency kits for your animals, as well.
“If something happens, you’re the one that’s responsible,” Meron said.
It’s important to have water and food to last three days in case of emergency, as well as medicine, sanitation materials and a pet carrier, according to a handout Meron provided.
“If you have small house pets, you want to have a grab and go, (and you want to) get animals used to their crate,” Meron said.
Everyone is going to be affected by disasters in different ways, Meron said, so it’s important to look at your own situation and see what kind of disaster could lie nearby.
“I am what I call the ‘Queen of Disaster,'” Meron said, explaining that her house has been hit both by a plane and a tornado.
Another thing Meron recommended was to get to know your neighbors, especially for your pets’ sakes. If you’re ever stuck out of town, being close with your neighbors means knowing that someone your pet trusts will be able to feed and take care of them.
Concerning UEARC, Meron said that it’s important to try to take care of as much as you can yourself, because in a real disaster, emergency services may not be able to get to you for weeks.
“If you do nothing else,” Meron said, “get CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) trained. It’s going to give you some ammunition. … The more we have in our arsenal, the better off we are.”
- Register your cellphone to receive Washington County emergency alerts
- National Preparedness Month: Red Cross urges developing emergency plan – 2014
- Emergency Preparedness Fair
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