Emergency Preparedness – the Time is Now!

IMG_6339If you and your family were faced with a real emergency, would you be ready? Would you know what to do? Our Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management (OEM) wants you to be ready for anything. And they are doing their best to prepare us. In late September, a Ready Philadelphia or Not? workshop was held at Campbell AME Church on Kinsey St. Led by Joan Przybylowicz, Deputy Director for External Affairs, Emergency Management, Kelly McNamara and Detective Joseph P. Rovnan, Philadelphia Police Department, Counter Terrorism Operations this workshop informed us on preparing for emergencies – whether  they be the ones requiring us to “shelter in place” or to evacuate.  The good news is that many of the informative handouts and information can be found on the OEM’s website – Ready Philadelphia.

We were not able to stay for the entire presentation but here’s just some of the invaluable information that was shared and that we need to act on if we are going to be ready for unexpected events. Of course, we know that extreme temperatures (hot and cold), water pipes, droughts, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes and outbreaks of disease can occur anytime. Hopefully, we receive warnings and have a short amount of time to prepare. But what if we don’t? Do you have enough cash money, food, water, medicine, etc. on hand if you would have to shelter in place? In the case of fires, explosions. utility outages, building collapses and heavy snow affecting the stability of roofs, do you know where you can go or where you would meet with your family members. If you have to evacuate from your house, where would you go? First choice would be to go to other family members and stay with them until the emergency is over. Schools are also the first places that are set up for neighborhood emergencies. All city shelters are pet-friendly.

The time to prepare for an emergency is before it happens. Visit Ready Philadelphia where you can listen to an audio version of the emergency preparedness guide and download a print version of the Ready or Not? guide that includes activities and information for you and your family to use together to get ready for any emergencies you might have to face.

This information is not for “if you need it” but “when you need it”. You only need to pick up the paper, browse online or watch the latest news to see that many of us are experiencing real emergencies every day! Make sure you and yours are prepared. To schedule a workshop, contact oem@phila.gov or call 215.683.3261.