Eau Claire emergency management officials urge people to prepare for potential disasters

Local News

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – September is National Preparedness Month.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency and Eau Claire County Emergency Management say it’s vital people prepare for disasters, including fires, floods and tornadoes.

Sam Simmons with Eau Claire County Emergency Management said there are several things people can do to get ready.

It starts with having a plan.

“If we’re at home and there’s a fire, how are we getting out of the house? Where are we going to meet up? So, things like that should be discussed with your family,” he said. “And, in a tornado situation, do the kids and the whole family know where to go if there’s a tornado warning? So, do they have that safe spot? So, practice that with your family and your kids so everybody’s on the same page and everybody will know what to do.”

Simmons said it’s also important people know who to call during a disaster.

ServPro of Eau Claire onwer Tom Hanaman said floods are also common in the Chippewa Valley so it’s important homeowners know where their water main is located so they can turn it off.

“It’s always a big shock for people,” he said. “Any disaster, no matter how big or small, is a disaster to the homeowner or the business owner.”

Simmons said another preparation key is having supplies that can last three days.

He said people should make disaster kits.

“Water, nonperishable foods, flashlight, batteries, battery-powered radio, a cell phone charger that you could maybe plug into a crank radio,” Simmons said. “So ways to keep yourself informed, ways to eat and ways to stay hydrated.”

Hanaman added disaster preparedness differs from homes to businesses. That’s why even though his staff usually responds after a disaster, they also help businesses prepare for the unplanned.

“Most businesses, be it small or large, there may be a few people that know where one thing is and not the othes,” he said. “Somebody’s on vacation and all of the sudden you don’t know where this is or that is. We have a free service that we help businesses try to prepare ahead of time with our app.”

He said the app lays out protocols giving people an easily accessible guide when disaster strikes.

Hanaman said call ServPro of Eau Claire at 715-834-3473 to sign up for the service.

Max Cotton, First News at Nine.

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