Oneida County preps residents for future disasters


ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) - Preparing for future floods and natural disasters was the theme Tuesday night at an interactive workshop held by the Oneida County Health Department. The seminar titled the, "Emergency Preparedness Community Workshop," brought out over 300 households to the Ava Dorfman Senior Center in Rome.

Over 90 volunteers from various organizations took on a variety of tasks at the all-day workshop. Those who attended came in shifts from 3:30p.m. until 7:30p.m., where they sat through 20-minute workshops, where participants visited a series of stations to learn about various disaster risks and what to do in special circumstances such as having children, family members with special needs and pets. Those providing the support materials also assisted participants in building a free family emergency preparedness kit.

Phyllis Ellis, Oneida County Health Departments Director of Public Health said, "There are so many disasters and hazards that have been going on locally and nationally its always a good preparedness to make sure the community is aware."

For those who did not attend the workshop, the kit included:

1.) Hand-crank weather radio
2.) First-aid kit
3.) Water storage container
4.) Waterproof document holder (for items such as your license.)
5.) Family preparedness USB flash drive
6.) Duct tape
7.) Plastic sheeting
8.) Work gloves
9.) Nitrile gloves
10.) N95 Mask
11.) Whisle
12.) Poncho
13.) Blanket
14.) Light stick
15.) Neosporin, Wipes
16.) Hand warmer

The kits are considered starter kits, and may not be right for every family. The health officials recommend evaluating your current situation and including items that may pertain specifically to your family.

Many of those who attended the disaster workshop, like Robin Potenski of Whitesboro, endured damage after the Floods of 2013 in the Central New York region. Potenski believes this workshop helps prepare locals for future disasters, " This is just a wonderful opportunity for them to be aware of what to do with the bags and kits they are getting."

Oneida County Health department hopes to host more of these events in the future.


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