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Be prepared to help yourself, family and others

The high winds and rain accompanying the latest winter storm this week is a good reminder for South Coast residents to prepare for emergencies. Don’t be the person  scrambling for candles, oil lamps, matches, flashlights and batteries when disaster strikes.

Weather forecasters have predicted a wetter and wilder-than-normal winter season, and with that we can expect  higher chances of prolonged power outages and major flooding.

And what if we had a large earthquake or tidal wave? Experts and state officials keep telling us we are long overdue. Roads and bridges could possibly fail, leaving our community isolated and dependent on itself.

One of the best things a you can do during an emergency is to take care yourself, and not become a burden to others. It doesn’t take much to be prepared.

It is wise to have enough emergency food and water on hand to feed your family for at least several days. A first aid kit, and plenty of matches and candles are a good idea.

Because most gas stations need electricity to pump gas, it would also be wise to always keep your car’s gas tank at least half full this time of year.

More information on disaster preparedness can be found at www.ready.gov. The website will help you build a preparedness kit and make a plan for yourself and your family (including your pets).

There are many ways to be prepared – doing so doesn’t take much time or money. – and the peace of mind it brings is well worth the effort.

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