A few tips on emergency preparedness

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said he wants people ready when severe weather or disaster strikes. He named September Preparedness Month to encourage people to have a plan in case of an emergency.

American Red Cross volunteer disaster program specialist David Fagan said one way to be prepared is to make a plan for your home and your business.

“The purpose of this is to prepare people on what to do,” said Fagan.

West Lafayette Fire Chief Tim Heath said making a plan helps people evacuate a building safely during a fire. He suggests knowing two ways to leave a building.

“It helps us understand that everybody is out,” said Heath. “Everybody is safe, and then we can make a plan to attack the fire.”

Heath said it is important to check all batteries in carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. He said keeping household items away from alternate heat sources, like space heaters, will help prevent a fire from starting.

“Make sure that if you do use an alternate heat source that they’re in an open space,” said Heath. “They’re not near curtains, blankets or furniture.”

People should also have an emergency kit that should include non-perishable food items, water, batteries and first aid supplies. He suggests having copies of important documents at a separate location and take pictures of property for insurance.

“A lot of people have their pets [and] have stuff for them too,” said Fagan. “They do go through the trauma whether you think so or not.”

Fagan said the American Red Cross is planning its eighth annual Emergency Preparedness Fair. He said local emergency agencies will answer any questions the public may have.

“We have all kinds of information. All kinds of materials,” said Fagan. “We’ll be giving things out at the fair that is coming up.”

The fair will be Tuesday, Sept. 16, from 6-8 p.m., at the Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds.

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