Hurricane season highlights importance of storm preparedness

Sep 14, 2017
Courtesy of: Walsh History Center, Camden Public Library FERN FRIENDS — Edna St. Vincent Millay and several friends at a Sunday school picnic at Oakland Park in Rockport. Image was taken July 1912, just a month before Millay's "discovery" at Whitehall Inn in Camden. She would attend Vassar and become the first female Pulitzer Price-winning poet. Left to right are: Jessie Hosmer, Ethel Knight, Gladys Snelley, Martha Knight, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Corinne Sawyer.

As Mainers prepare to help other states in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the Atlantic has had a busy season, with storm after storm developing. Harvey was followed by Irma and at press time this week everyone was watching the path of Jose.

While we are fortunate on the Midcoast to often be spared the natural disasters so often depicted in the national news, several hurricanes and their remnants have reached us over the years. High winds and rain can mean power outages and downed trees. This winter, we could again see ice storms.

So while there is no need for panic, the benefits of having a plan and being prepared are worth mentioning.

The following are a few preparation suggestions from FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency:

* Pack an emergency "go bag." Individuals may be urged to evacuate their homes when certain storms are on the horizon. Doing so quickly and efficiently means having packed items at the ready to grab at a moment's notice. Pack several changes of clothes, some cash, medications, identification, snacks and water, a first-aid kit and a list of important phone numbers.

* Have an emergency preparedness kit. People who are not in the immediate danger zones and will be staying put can have a kit at home that includes the following items:

* one gallon of water for each person for three days

* nonperishable foods that your family has enjoyed before and will last at least three days

* baby wipes and garbage bags for personal sanitation

* plastic sheeting

* duct tape

* wrench or pliers

* whistle

* batteries and battery-operated flashlights and radios

* can opener

* cell phone with charger

* infant formula and diapers, if necessary

* matches in a waterproof container

* household bleach for sanitation

* paper and pencils

* pet food

* Develop a communication plan. Establish a communication plan so that family can be contacted and notified of your situation should you be separated from your home or if family members become separated from one another.

* Don't forget entertainment. If power is lost for an extended period of time, many of the electronics that keep children and adults amused will be rendered useless. Have books, puzzles, games and old-fashioned real-world toys available for entertainment.

* Pack your prescription medications. Individuals who are on maintenance medications should be sure to refill or have doctors call in a refill to a pharmacy prior to the arrival of a storm.

* Stock up on fuel. In the event of a power failure, fuel pumps do not work and gas shortages may occur. Fill your gas tank and have several gallons of gasoline available to run a generator if you have one.

* Carry some cash. It is important to withdraw cash before a storm arrives. The ATM at your local bank may not operate, and the bank may be closed. Stores may not be able to accept credit or debit cards.

A disaster is something no one anticipates. But everyone can and should take measures to prepare for a disaster should one occur.

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Be sure to check out the column on our op-ed page this week written by Martha McSweeney Brower, who appears as a guest in Reade Brower's column space, to learn more and protect yourself from this deadly illness.

Learning the symptoms, doctor's visits and early detection and treatment are the keys to surviving.

Spread the word to your loved ones to prevent the unnecessary loss of life!

Update on the poetry contest

The VillageSoup Community Poetry Contest has generated some excitement judging by the calls we have received at the office wondering who has won.

We do not have a winner yet. The 22 poems were published online and in the Courier and Camden Herald papers last week, and residents had until Sept. 14 to vote on their favorites. Names of the poets were withheld so the poems could be judged solely on the quality of the writing.

Our plan is to use the votes to narrow it down to the top five contenders. Those will then go on to our community judges to make the final decision on the winners.

Stay tuned! Toward the end of the month, we will run a story about the winners and we will run all of the poems online again with their authors' names so they can get credit for their work.

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