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Maintaining Calm Amid Chaos: Families Pack ‘Go Bags’ to be Ready for Natural Disasters | Havre de Grace Patch

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Just like a firefighter, gear on the prepared, Kevin Jones has his household’s “go bag” within the automotive prepared for any surprising emergency.

The Reisterstown, Maryland, residents go away nothing to probability with regards to their household’s security. “We are living in a world where nothing is ever permanent or stable. When you least expect it, that’s when something usually happens,” mentioned Jones.

With excessive climate occasions escalating in frequency and severity in recent times, specialists urge households to plan forward for pure disasters. Ready.gov, a FEMA web site, recommends placing collectively a “collection of basic items” to final for a number of days, together with meals, water, a change of garments, money and a flashlight.

The Jones’ even have rehearsed eventualities like escaping a hearth.

Jones taught his kids, “Don’t panic. Pause and think!” When his kids have been younger he taught them methods to really feel their means across the room to get out of hazard.

The Jones’ credit score common disaster-preparedness reminders via their congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses and on the Christian group’s official web site, jw.org, for serving to them to maintain on the prepared.

“Being ready to face a natural disaster may be the difference between life and death when it unexpectedly hits,” mentioned Robert Hendriks, U.S. spokesperson for the Christian group. “We can’t just say life is precious; we need to live it. That’s why the Bible’s advice to take practical steps to protect ourselves and our families from danger makes so much sense — even if threats seem far off.”

Until not too long ago, Colorado couple Michael and Crystal Brook solely considered wildfires as a risk to these excessive on the slopes of the Rockies — by no means imagining that their suburban dwelling within the foothills could be in danger.

Still, heeding recommendation to anticipate the surprising, the Brooks assembled go baggage, using tips from the jw.org
article “When Disaster Strikes — Steps That Can Save Lives.”

Last December, their efforts paid off when the Marshall Fire, a record-breaking inferno fueled by drought circumstances and excessive winds, ravaged houses and companies in Boulder County.

As flames leapt throughout the interstate freeway close to their dwelling and billows of smoke darkened the noon sky, the Brooks grabbed their go baggage, together with pillows and stuffed toys to assist maintain 6-year-old daughter Annastyn calm amid the chaos of evacuating their group.

Michael recollects the panic throughout the group. “They didn’t know what to do,” he mentioned.

Though the Brooks’ home sustained solely minor smoke harm, and their go baggage went unused, the couple really feel being ready helped them stay calm and act swiftly underneath stress. “Having the go bags made things simple,” mentioned Michael.

“These days, anything can happen anytime, anywhere,” added Crystal. “It’s good to be prepared.”

In flood-prone Louisa, Kentucky, Brandon and C’onia Fitch made getting ready go baggage a enjoyable exercise for teenagers Nolan, Gavin and Stella, letting them select their very own baggage and add their favourite toys and nonperishable snacks.

“Everyone in the family had a role in preparing the bags,” mentioned Brandon. “They know what’s in them, and they know where to find them.”

The significance of being ‘go bag ready’ was put to the take a look at final 12 months when floodwaters surrounded their dwelling in rural Appalachia.

In pitch darkness and with freezing water rising steadily of their dwelling, the Fitches loaded their go baggage — and Princess Pickles, 6-year-old Stella’s beloved guinea pig — into the household automotive and drove to greater floor.

By morning, 4 ft of muddy floodwater had devastated the Fitches’ dwelling and introduced into sharp focus the true worth of their efforts to organize.

“It took a bit of the panic away,” mentioned C’onia. “It seemed like a daunting task … but I’m so glad we did it.”

“You’re not going to regret it,” agreed Nolan, 16. “It could save your life.”

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