Last week, two local residents went to the Park County Commissioners with a proposal to build a facility to store three months worth of food for all roughly 30,000 county residents that could feed …
Last week, two local residents went to the Park County Commissioners with a proposal to build a facility to store three months worth of food for all roughly 30,000 county residents that could feed people in the event of a serious emergency that led to empty supermarkets or no electricity for an extended period of time.
Emergency preparedness is important, and county officials and our local Homeland Security leader will mull this idea over, but emergency preparedness should start at home if possible.
While it’s a good idea to stay local as much as possible and rely on county government as opposed to state and national government, the responsibility for being prepared ought to start at home.
The Department of Homeland Security has a National Preparedness Goal, which defines what it means for the whole community to be prepared for all types of disasters and emergencies. The goal is, “A secure and resilient nation with the capabilities required across the whole community to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk.”
According to DHS, these risks include events such as natural disasters, disease pandemics, chemical spills and other manmade hazards, terrorist attacks and cyber attacks.
“Preparedness is a shared responsibility; it calls for the involvement of everyone — not just the government — in preparedness efforts,” DHS states. “By working together, everyone can help keep the nation safe from harm and help keep it resilient when struck by hazards, such as natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and pandemics.”
It’s an admirable goal and includes schools and nonprofits, the media and businesses, but the list starts with the family.
So, maybe there is some countywide preparedness plan that includes a food stockpile or other measures to help those who don’t have the means to help themselves, but for your family’s sake, make sure you’re prepared for an emergency. Jeff Martin with Park County Homeland Security recommends families have a month’s worth of food on hand in case of an emergency. A power outage may not last a month, but even a couple of days could be a challenge without advance preparation. And as a bonus, you may have extra supplies to help a neighbor who wasn’t able, for one reason or another, to be as prepared.