Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Prepare for disaster

Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.

This is the theme of 2018 National Preparedness Month, which is observed each September.

September is a perfect time to learn lifesaving skills, such as first aid and CPR, according to the official NPM website, http://www.ready.gov. It is also a great time to check insurance coverage for disasters such as floods, tornados and earthquakes.

Preparing for a disaster can begin with learning valuable skills like shutting off natural gas and water and, as always, citizens are reminded to make an action plan for emergencies and to practice those often. Action plan ideas and tips for emergencies such as fire escapes and home evacuations are available on the NPM website.

For residents in the Nebraska Panhandle this is also a great time to prepare an emergency vehicle kit for the approaching winter.

Preparing for a roadside emergency includes testing battery cables, stocking tools and necessities such as a first aid kit, a portable air compressor, reflective triangles or road flares, flashlights, batteries, a folding shovel, blankets, matches, candles, a heavy metal can, hats, gloves, water and snacks such as nuts and energy bars.

Cat litter, sand or safety absorbent can help a vehicle regain traction, so storing a bag of such in the vehicle is a great idea.

One can also stock the vehicle with spare cash, hand cleaner, tire sealant, duct tape, a tow strap and hand warmers. These items take up little space and could be crucial in case of an emergency.

Preparing for winter driving means maintaining a vehicle before travel. Simple tips include maintaining the battery, keeping the gas tank at least half full and maintaining other fluid levels, as well as, inflating tires properly and ensuring wipers and blades are working well. It is also a good idea to check the spare tire as well as the jack and tire iron or lug nut wrench.

Drivers may also want to replace regular tires with snow tires for winter driving and have the oil changed before the harsh weather arrives.

As National Preparedness Month comes to an end, remember, being prepared takes a small time commitment and little money, but the impact is well worth the preparation, whether for day trips throughout the region or an unexpected blizzard.

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