Planning Ahead Pays Off
- by BSL Fire Chief Pam San Fillippo
It’s that time of year again, the peak of hurricane season, and I want to share with you some of the resources available to help you plan and prepare for a disaster.
Ten years ago many of us learned first-hand what a “disaster” really is - but it doesn’t have to be a storm like Katrina (or a hurricane at all for that matter) to make life uncomfortable, if not dangerous, for those who aren’t prepared to care for themselves for several days. As many of us saw after Katrina, help may be days away... literally. Don’t wait until the last minute - now is the time to plan!
If an evacuation is ordered, what will you do? Do you have extra money and a reliable vehicle available if you have to travel? If you must shelter in place, do you have enough supplies? Do you have elderly family members that depend on you, and have you made arrangements for their care?
Decide now what you will do with your pets - can you take them with you? If not, make arrangements now - don’t wait until an evacuation has been ordered to figure it out. Are you under a doctor’s care, do you have extra medication on hand? If you’re planning to have surgery or some other medical procedure performed will you be able to travel if needed? Lots of tough questions and the answers aren’t always easy, so act now.
The City of Bay St. Louis has a tremendous amount of information (or links to information) on planning and preparing your business, home, family and pets for emergencies and disasters on the city’s website (see our sidebar); and of course we do our best to keep the city and fire department Facebook pages updated with the latest news and information.
Station House BSL
(If you don’t live in Bay St. Louis, check with the emergency managers in your city, parish or county to see if they offer a similar emergency alerting system, many do.)
Plan and prepare when things are calm. Don’t delay. I hope the links we've provided will help. No matter where you live, if you need information or other assistance don’t hesitate to contact your local fire department, law enforcement or emergency management agency for help.