Fair Will Help Residents Prepare For A Disaster

High voltage demos and more at disaster preparedness fair


APS workers will give hot dogs and fruit 27,000 volts of electricity to demonstrate what a live wire can do to the human body.

People at the Community Emergency Preparedness Fair will see the high voltage results on the food, Saturday, April 12.

"It is going to be a pretty cool demo," fair organizer Cliff Potts said.

"Be prepared" has always been a scouting adage.

Wildfires are arguably the most common threat this adage is applied to in the Rim Country. Unfortunately, other disasters can befall without warning and survival can equal preparation.

Make a kit. Get a plan. Be informed.

Attendees at the April 12 Community Emergency Preparedness Fair can get started on the informed part of the plan.

The preparedness fair has been in the works since November when Potts and some friends from Boy Scouts and Payson Community Emergency Response Team got to talking about the predicted dry winter.

The objective of the fair is for the attendee to learn as much as they can about emergency preparedness from community experts.

"We are glad we had a wet winter and that we do not have to be in a crisis-mode to have the fair," Potts said.

For instance, according to Potts, if our local phone system went down, ham operators of the Tonto Amateur Radio Association and Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service would be another source of communication.

In the event of an emergency, having a plan in place and supplies ready can help ease stress and panic.

Disaster can confine people to home, work or school or can force you to leave quickly.

The fair will provide attendees with information so that they may make decisions about personal and family safety.

The Gila County Sheriff's Department and the Sheriff's Posse will have information on keeping track of loved ones.

Payson Humane Society will present on caring for your pets in the event of an emergency.

Demonstrations, handouts and mini-classes on how to respond to emergencies include:

  • Gila County Health Department has information about pandemics.

"We will air video of past pandemics. Pandemics are not something most folks think about, so the videos and information are eye-opening," Leana Asberry, volunteer coordinator for the county emergency management office, said.

They will also have coloring books for for children so they can learn about germs.

  • The Gila County emergency communications van will be there and on display.

"I am looking forward to learning how this unit coordinates with all the other agencies," Potts said.

  • The American Red Cross will show off their emergency food delivery truck, along with a great deal of information including a "Grab and Go Kit" to be used in an emergency evacuation.
  • Payson Regional Medical Center will have an emergency decontamination tent.
  • Tonto Search and Rescue will present information on safety in the woods and their YES program for kids.
  • Community Emergency Response Team will show how citizens can be prepared to assist in emergencies.
  • LDS Emergency Services and Relief Society will present information about long-term emergency resources.
  • Pine/Strawberry Neighbor to Neighbor representatives will have a booth.
  • United States Forest Service will present information about fire safety in our forest and in our forest homes.
  • Payson Fire Department will be talking about being "Fire-wise" and also the "Vial of Life" program.
  • Payson Police Department will provide information on home safety and how to prepare for a community evacuation. When the people of Show Low evacuated during the Rodeo Chedeski fire, they had to leave on a moment's notice.
  • The Boy Scouts will have a field kitchen set up, similar to the one during the Rodeo Chedeski fire, so you can get a little bit of the real flavor of an emergency.

People who wish to volunteer in an emergency or support the organizations that do, can find out more about volunteer opportunities.

The Community Emergency Preparedness Fair is Saturday, April 12 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 913 S. Ponderosa, Payson.

If the weather is fine, the event will be in the parking lot. If it rains, the fair will be inside the church.

"There should be something for everybody, even hungry ones," Potts said.

There will be free refreshments.

The fair is a cooperative effort of the participating service providers with hosting support provided by the LDS church.

Be Prepared' tips for people with disabilities

  • Create a support network to help in an emergency.
  • Tell these people where you keep your emergency supplies.
  • Give one member of your support network a key to your house or apartment.
  • Contact your city or county government's emergency information management office. Many local offices keep lists of people with disabilities so they can be located quickly in a sudden emergency.
  • Wear medical alert tags or bracelets to help identify your disability.
  • If you are dependent on dialysis or other life-sustaining treatment, know the location and availability of more than one facility.
  • Show others how to operate your wheelchair.
  • Know the size and weight of your wheelchair, in addition to whether or not it is collapsible, in case it has to be transported.

Additional supplies for

people with disabilities:

  • Prescription medicines, list of medications including dosage, list of any allergies.
  • Extra eyeglasses and hearing-aid batteries.
  • Extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen.
  • Keep a list of the style and serial number of medical devices.
  • Medical insurance and Medicare cards.
  • List of doctors, relatives or friends who should be notified if you are hurt.

For information and tools related to emergency preparedness for persons with disabilities, see the Interagency Coordinating Council on Emergency Preparedness for Individuals with Disabilities Resource Center. http://www.disabilitypreparedness.gov

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