First aid and emergency drills: Lakewood preps for National Preparedness Month

Lakewood+Recreation+Department+show+off+an+example+of+the+first+aid+kits+that+are+available+for+injuries+that+could+occur+during+a+disaster.+

Courtesy of Chuck Martucci

Lakewood Recreation Department show off an example of the first aid kits that are available for injuries that could occur during a disaster.

Jacqueline Cochran

Lately it seems like natural disasters are happening in rapid succession. We are in the middle of a pandemic and fire season is underway. What could happen next and are we ready for it?

September is National Preparedness Month, a time for everyone to ponder the worst case scenario and prepare for it.

National Preparedness month is intended to remind Americans to be prepared for disasters or emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities. The 2020 theme for National Preparedness month is “Disasters don’t wait, Make a plan today.”

The Department of Homeland Security outlines a step by step guide to follow over the entire month of September.

Step One: Make a plan. This step should include how to communicate with loved ones during and after a disaster strikes.

Step Two: Build a kit. Find a safe location to store items that you will need in the event of a disaster. Having food that doesn’t require refrigeration is important. Remember to buy batteries for flash lights, a radio, grab some trash bags, bottled water, a first aid kit, toilet paper, extra clothes, extra medicines and some activities for the children in case you are stuck in one location for a few days.

Step Three: Prepare for disaster. Have insurance papers, identification, bank records available and stored in a fire proof or water proof container.

Step Four: Teach youth about preparedness. It’s a good idea to teach the kids how to be prepared and to give them an active role in case of disaster.

Chuck Martucci, Community Services and Emergency Services Manager for the City of Lakewood said, “With each passing year, the probability for a major earthquake, or other natural disaster occurring in Southern California becomes stronger. The City of Lakewood recognizes this threat and maintains a goal to protect lives and property by effectively preparing for, preventing, responding to, and recovering from all threats, hazards, and emergencies.”

Martucci said, “I enjoy this month-long event because I am passionate about emergency management and preparedness. The more people I can help educate in order to have a greater number of individuals who are safer and better equipped to take care of their families after a disaster or in an emergency situation the more accomplished I will feel.”

To help promote National Preparedness month, Lakewood’s Emergency Management Team created a game to give employees a fun platform to participate and get prepared.

Martucci stated, “We want to get employees to start thinking about being prepared not only at home, but at work. It also reminds all of the staff that as municipal government employees, they are sworn disaster service workers who respond to work after any emergency or disaster once they have secured their family and home.

The City of Lakewood wants to use National Preparedness Month as our opportunity for employees to create emergency plans, build emergency supply kits, prepare for different types of disasters, and teach our community about being prepared for an emergency situation.”

Americans are encouraged to participate in National Preparedness Month to become better prepared to deal with a disaster, major catastrophes or emergencies of any level all year long. For more preparedness tips visit the Homeland Security website.