Agencies prep community for disaster -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Agencies prep community for disaster

September 14, 2007

Thomasville-- It's national preparedness month and first responders, the Red Cross, and lots of other agencies are working together to bring you the Thomasville- Thomas County Community Preparedness Fair Saturday.

Kristin Riggs, executive director for the Red Cross Wiregrass chapter says she worries what Thomas county's reaction would be in the face of a disaster.  "When it comes right down to it, this community doesn't know what to do, most of them don't know what to do," says Riggs.

"Life is easy for most of us most of the time and I'm afraid we're a little bit more relaxed than we need to be and its good for us to just have reminders," adds Mary Cranford, public affairs director for the event.  That's why her church decided to try to pull multiple agencies together for an especially effective reminder.  "Our intention is for this to be a one-stop shopping place for accurate information from the local authorities," Cranford explains. 

"Red Cross is also involved and we're going to be there with preparedness information for any kind of disaster really, whether it's a hurricane, tornado, flood, fire, whatever it is," says Riggs.   

She says there are three action steps a family needs to follow to be fully prepared. The first is to build an emergency kit.  It should be filled with essentials like water, food, a flashlight and extra batteries.

"The second one is to make a plan, you've got to know what to do in the event of an emergency.  The main thing is that you're communicating with each other. Its so important to make sure people know what's going on, know what to do, they know the plan, they're ready for it when its time to go," says Riggs.

"The better people are prepared before hand, then the better families can cope during any kind of emergency," adds Cranford.  The preparedness fair will be held at the exchange club fairgrounds Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is free to the public.

Organizers of the fair want to cover every possible emergency. There will be lectures from experts on possibilities of a Pandemic Flu, as well as lectures on Financial and Family Emergency Preparedness.