Health & Safety

June 14, 2012

Emergency preparedness is critical right now

Cochise County Sheriff Department

With the one year mark for the Monument Fire and the number of fires Cochise County has already seen so far this year, the Cochise County Sheriff Department staff encourages everyone to be mindful of fire dangers and to be ready in the event of a real emergency.

There are three levels of evacuation readiness.

Pre-evacuation is a notice that the area around a house is becoming dangerous. Those with animals, children or a disability should allow more time to make all arrangements and gather important papers, medication, etc. in order to be able to leave at a moment’s notice.

Voluntary evacuation means leaving the area in advance of a mandatory evacuation.

Mandatory evacuation means residents are notified of imminent danger and must leave the area immediately.

During the coming month, the Cochise County Sheriff’s Assist Team will be specifically dedicated to the identification of potential hazards in residential neighborhoods that include no visible addressing or house numbers and overgrown shrubbery too close to the home. If these issues are noted, the SAT members will leave a “door hanger” with the appropriate information marked.

Be prepared in advance by knowing what to take in the event of an emergency. Pack important papers, medications, cash and credit cards and enough clothing to last several days. Don’t forget to include pets and livestock in the preparation process, making sure to have one crate for each domestic animal and resources available to move larger animals.

Some items to consider having for your emergency “Go Bag” can be: driver’s license and/or passport, Social Security card(s), birth and marriage certificates, proof of residence plus a recent utility bill, insurance policies and vehicle titles, computer backup disks or the computer itself and family photographs.

Supplies should include flashlights and batteries, cell phone and charger, first aid kit, medical supplies hearing aids, eyeglasses, oxygen tanks, dentures, crutches, non-perishable foods and snacks. Pet supplies should include medicines, food, water bowls and leashes.

If ordered to evacuate, close all windows, turn off water and power to include propane. Time may be short, so always pre-plan. Expect any evacuation to be chaotic and people to be frustrated in general.

Public safety organizations ask for your cooperation to ensure a smooth transition, so being prepared is one of the most important ways you can help them to help you.

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