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Yesterday, a magnitude-7.0 earthquake hit Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The Haitian president believes thousands of people died in the quake, and an estimated 3 million people are in need of emergency aid right now.
The earthquake really has me thinking about preparing for disasters. Now is the time to do it. We need to prepare at home, at work, at school. Here at United Way, we have a new AmeriCorps VISTA, George, who is focusing on Emergency Preparedness planning in Utah County. George gave me this advice about being prepared:
“We live in a time, when the unexpected can quickly become the norm. As a community, we face the potential for both natural and man-made disasters daily and the need to be prepared is real. When a disaster occurs in any community, local government and disaster-relief organizations will try to help you, but you need to be ready as well.
The benefits are real. Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety and losses that accompany disasters. Individuals, families and communities should know what to do in the event of a fire and where to seek shelter during an earthquake. Individuals can reduce the impact of a disaster and sometimes avoid the danger completely.
My goal is to provide each member of the United Way of Utah County team with the information and tools needed for them and their families to be able to meet any potential event with confidence and to be prepared to direct volunteers and reach out into the community.”
If you would like to talk with George about emergency preparedness planning or how you can register your skills to help volunteer in a disaster, call 801-374-2588 or visit www.ready.gov or www.beready.utah.gov. Prepare now.
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