POINT PLEASANT — In May, staff from the Mason County Health Department (MCHD) used grant money to order 200 “Grab and Go” emergency preparedness kits - unfortunately, despite ordering them a few months prior, the kits came a week after the summer storm.
The health department will be giving away these emergency kits on Friday, July 13 at no cost with staff setting up at the New Haven Library at 9 a.m. and at Ashton Elementary School at 12:30 pm., July 13. These kits will be divided equally between the two areas and will be available while supplies last. A registration card will be required to be completed at the time of pick up. The health department will also be taking information from anyone who has had structural damage from the summer storm and this information will be reported to the local emergency planners.
This year the totes were ordered pre-filled and are self-contained in a five gallon bucket. These emergency “Grab and Go” kits include many items for an emergency such as flashlights, radios, emergency blankets, first aid kits and 20 packets of four ounces of water.
The kits do not include food items—that’s where planning ahead by the people comes in to place. A tote bag will be provided along with the emergency kit, that people can fill with food items as well as items that they will need to take to a shelter if they need to leave their home.
Most people think of an emergency kit as being for the winter, but now many people have learned they are needed year round.
Since September 11, 2001, the health department as well as the Mason County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) have been encouraging the community to have an emergency kit ready and have provided totes in the past as well as books from Ready West Virginia and even DVD’s on emergency preparedness. MCHD staff hope many of the residents were able to locate these kits and put them to use.
It is planned that if the grant for 2013 is approved that the health department will be able to purchase an additional 200 kits to give away this fall. The MCHD staff is aware that 200 does not meet everyone’s need in the community, but the health department uses the grant money to purchase items to give back to the community to help them prepare for emergencies.
Information for this article provided by MCHD staff.