No one really wants to think about an emergency situation in their community. But things do happen.
Storms, bad weather, disasters or hazardous spills can threaten the safety of even the most calm people. But it is a good thing to know what to do to be prepared if there is an emergency situation.
During Neillsville's Common Council meeting last week, Clark County Emergency Management Director John Ross spoke about being prepared for a weather-related or community emergency.
"We want to plan for what could happen," he said.
Ross gathers information for the state level and determines if state and federal resources are needed. Ross focused on outreach and public education to help the public be prepared.
Living far inland, we don't get as much extreme weather as the coastal regions or the heartland of the United States. We'll get rain and snow, some flooding, but this doesn't mean we shouldn't have an emergency plan.
"There's always potential for evacuation and need for services," Ross said. "If I can educate people, they can cope better."
Ross stressed the importance of having a NOAA weather radio for people to get instant information. He also suggested the need for a year-round emergency plan. It is foremost important. Having a plan for the family is necessary.
"Have that plan," Ross said. Have supplies, including three days' worth of water and flashlights with batteries. And know where your shelter area is in your place of employment. Everyone in the family should know where to meet if there's an emergency, and know where to go if something happens, he said.
Being prepared in other seasons is important, too. If a person is stranded in a vehicle, he or she should have extra warm clothing, blankets, food and water until help arrives.
Ross expressed that people need to be informed and on alert of weather-related emergencies. Being prepared means people can cope better until they can receive services.