Because of Mother Nature's unpredictable actions, "You never know what's going to happen," said Edgecombe County Emergency Manager Deputy Director, Mark Rogerson. That is why Rogerson is advocating to Edgecombe County citizens to prepare for possible natural disasters just in case Mother Nature stops by.
Although Edgecombe County Emergency Service preaches preparedness throughout the year, it is placing special emphasis on the situation this month because it is National Preparedness Month (NPM).
NPM is a nationwide, month-long effort encouraging households, businesses and communities to prepare and plan for emergencies. Locally, Rogerson is taking the preparation seriously.
"Our goal is to get information to the public so that they can prepare for Hurricanes, tornadoes or other disasters," Rogerson said. "Our main objective is to get them to improve their chances of survival. If we can prepare them, it effects them and us."
One of the main emphasis that Rogerson discussed was for families to prepare a 3-day emergency kit that includes, water, nonperishable food, first aid, prescriptions flashlight, and battery-powered radio. Citizens who use oxygen tanks and those who used motorized devices should also prepare for the worst.
One of the worst disasters in Edgecombe County occurred Sept. 16, 1999. Hurricane Floyd floodwaters devastated the county killing six people in Pinetops and covering the town of Princeville for at least 10 days.
The damage of the storm caught the mass of Edgecombe County resident by surprise. In Princeville and in a community outside of Pinetops (Dodge City) some residents fled from the water to their roofs and were rescued by helicopters. Since then Edgecombe has had several other Hurricanes but none of them were as devastating as Floyd.
Rogerson pointed out that tornadoes and ice storms could also cause natural disasters. He urged the citizens to become familiar with the language that meteorologist uses when reporting the weather.
"Part of being prepared is knowing the difference between a warning and a watch," he said. "A warning is given when bad weather has been seen in your immediate area and you should proceed with cautious. A watch means that bad weather is favorable and you should prepare for it."
For more information go to www.ready.gov.
Disaster Supply Kit Includes:
• one gallon of water per person
• three day of supply of nonperishable food per person
• first aid kit
• whistle to single for help
• dust mask to help filter contaminated air
• moist toweltes, garbage bags
• wrench or pliers to turn off utiliites
• manual can opener
• cell phone with charger