“Be prepared” is no longer a mantra reserved for the Boy Scouts. In light of 9/11 and recent natural disasters, Mesa police are hoping to spread a “culture of preparedness” in the East Valley.
As part of National Preparedness Month, the Mesa Police Department and its partner agencies will host an Emergency Preparedness Day from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday at the Red Mountain Target, located at McKellips and Power Roads. Agency representatives hope to teach participants how to prepare for emergencies ranging from terrorist acts and natural disasters to major power outages and flu pandemics.
“Being prepared for any emergency, whether natural or man-made, is a shared responsibility and applies to us wherever we are — where we live, work, learn and play,” police wrote in a press release.
Officials from the Mesa Fire and Utilities departments, FBI, Banner Hospital, Salvation Army, Red Cross, National Guard, AARP, Civil Air Patrol and Mesa Animal Control will all be there to help educate the public.
The event will feature a wide variety of displays and demonstrations, including how to use a fire extinguisher, how to fill sandbags for a flood, how to use a ham radio when telephone lines are down and how to protect your pets.
Also, helicopters, fire trucks, Humvees and satellites will all be on display.
“The best way to handle an emergency situation is to be prepared before it happens,” said Mesa Police Chief George Gascón, who wants participants to use programs such as Citizen Corps and Neighborhood Watch to spread what they learn on Saturday.
Eight ways to prepare for and prevent disasters
1. Make a plan with your loved ones. In a disaster, what will you do? How will you contact one another? Where will you meet?
2. Ask about emergency plans at work, daycare and school.
3. Keep gas in your vehicle.
4. Call authorities if you see suspicious activity around reservoirs, utility sites or other locked, gated areas.
5. Stay home if you’re sick.
6. Wash your hands regularly.
7. Drink more water.
8. Keep an emergency supply kit on hand. Include water, non-perishable food, medications, cash, clothing, flashlights & batteries, first-aid kit, copies of ID cards, local maps, emergency phone numbers and toilet paper.