LIMA — Area residents ages 55 and older received disaster preparedness training and disaster preparedness kits Tuesday at the Area Agency on Aging 3.
“The main purpose is to educate anyone 55 and older on what to do in case of a disaster and give them a disaster readiness kit,” said Miranda Ridenour, director of the retired senior volunteer program. “This is our first time doing this. We planned for 50 people to show up and have had 32 so far, which we consider a success.”
Travis Fillhart with the Allen County Emergency Management Agency spoke with the participants about seasonal disasters; including tornadoes, floods and high heat. He emphasized the importance of emergency preparedness kits. They were then assisted by Ridenour, American Red Cross Disaster Program Manager Catherine Reed and West Ohio Food Bank Program Coordinator Taylor Marshall in building their kits. The kits were made up of bandaids, disinfectant wipes, face masks, bottled water, a whistle and other important essentials for surviving a disaster.
“I tell people they probably have 90 percent of the stuff in their home to build a kit,” said Allen County Emergency Management Agency Director Tom Berger. “You just need to gather it all and put it into one central location.”
Attendees were also give the change to sign up for Alert Allen County, a free program which sends out emergency alerts to mobile devices, makes alert calls to landlines and sends email alerts when any disaster is announced for Allen County.
“It’s an extremely important system,” Berger said. “The alerts come from the National Weather Service.”
Naomi Wallen returned to the Area Agency on Aging 3 after she had already picked up preparedness kits for her mother and herself to get kits for her sister and her sister’s husband.
“Well, everybody needs to be prepared for what’s coming,” she said. “You never know what the weather is going to do. This last winter proved that.”
Jill Newland of Lima said she came to the event partly because she wanted to see how the kits the Area Agency on Aging 3 was giving out compared to the ones she had at home. She wanted to see if they had anything different she would want to add to her kit.
Anyone is interested in making a disaster preparedness kit can visit ready.gov for information on what to include.
Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362.