September is National Preparedness Month, and Clark County officials are reminding residents about resources available to help them prepare for emergencies of all types.
"The California earthquake we felt this summer is an important reminder to our residents that emergencies can happen anytime and anywhere, and disaster preparedness begins at home," said Clark County Fire Department Deputy Chief John Steinbeck, who oversees Clark County's Office of Emergency Management. "You should create an emergency supply kit that gets refreshed at least once a year and contains items for you and your family's basic needs for up to ten days, including medication and supplies for your pets."
From Sept. 4 to Sept. 24, free emergency preparedness handouts, booklets and other materials will be available at an outreach exhibit set up in the rotunda on the first floor of the Clark County Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Pkwy., in downtown Las Vegas. Clark County's Office of Emergency Management also is hosting free lunchtime preparedness seminars for employees and the public on Wednesdays, Sept. 11, 18 and 25, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., in the Pueblo Room, located on the first floor of the Government Center. Emergency Management staff also are available to talk to community groups about preparedness throughout the year. For requests, contact the office at (702) 455-5710.
Residents are encouraged to download the free Southern Nevada Community Preparedness App on their smartphones to receive weather alerts, safety tips and other useful information. The app can be downloaded from the Office of Emergency Management's website pages. The app also allows users to develop a personalized emergency plan that includes building a kit tailored to your needs and creating a contact list to help you reconnect with loved ones in the event of an emergency. Residents also can sign up to receive free texts and email alerts through the multi-agency Southern Nevada On the Alert website.
Clark County produced TV public service announcements about emergency preparedness that have been shared with local media and air on Clark County Television (CCTV) and the County's YouTube channel, Facebook, Twitter, NextDoor, LinkedIn and Instragram social media sites. A general PSA provides basic preparedness tips for people and their pets and promotes the Preparedness App. An additional radio and TV PSA created in partnership with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the Beasley Broadcast Group encourages the public to report suspicious activity to the local "See Something, Say Something" hotline at (702) 828-8386. The "See Something" campaign was created by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to encourage residents to report suspicious activity to their local police departments to prevent crime and acts of violence. Citizens calling the "See Something, Say Something" hotline will be asked to report: Who or what they saw, where they saw it, and why the activity or behavior was suspicious?
The top hazards identified by emergency managers in Southern Nevada are communicable disease, wildfire, flooding, earthquake and extreme heat. Power outages also can happen sporadically. Officials say the key steps for emergency preparedness are as follows:
1. Get a disaster supply kit. The kit should contain items for you and your family's basic needs for three days to ten days, including food and water, and provisions for infants, medically fragile family members and pets. First build a "go bag" for your car, then work on putting together at least a three-day supply kit, followed by a larger kit. An emergency supply kit for pets should include a leash, carrier, medicines and copies of current vaccination records in case you have to check your pet into a local shelter.
2. Create an emergency plan. Choose a primary and secondary meeting place in case an emergency affects your home or neighborhood, and designate an out-of-state contact for family members to call in case you are separated. Businesses and community organizations should design an emergency plan for employees and conduct safety training, including drills and exercises.
3. Be informed. In an emergency, stay tuned to local TV or radio stations for alerts, instructions, and official notifications. Participate in citizen training opportunities. Volunteer with the Southern Nevada chapter of the American Red Cross and other organizations that perform community assistance during emergencies.
More information about emergency preparedness is available on the County's website at www.ClarkCountyNV.gov on the Office of Emergency Management and the Fire Department's web pages. Other resources include: