It’s hard for anyone to be fully prepared for an emergency. Here in Philadelphia floods, fires and even the occasional hurricane affect the city and homes with damage. Understanding how to be prepared for these events is essential for anyone in order to survive the ordeal. Unfortunately, very few citizens are not even prepared with the basics of knowing what to do. This could mean everything when living in Hunting Park.
On Oct. 6 at the Nicetown branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia the community was treated to an opportunity to learn these basics. Ready Philadelphia held a natural disaster workshop for personal and family preparedness. As a part of the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management, Ready Philadelphia teaches local residents how to be prepared for fires, floods, chemical spills and hurricanes.
Edward Vassallo, a coordinator, provided a wealth of information to the attendees. He provided traditional safety tips like knowing your escape route, knowing the supplies you’ll need and even knowing where you can take your pet. He’s also aware of the difficulty that most local residents have acquiring these supplies.
“If you don’t have the ability to buy a whole lot, you can rotate out supplies,” Vassallo said, “especially medicine for the elderly.”
Among the usual safety tips, Ready Philadelphia was also advocating the use of new technology, with a new texting service that allows citizens to get information on disasters as they’re happening and even inform you of the nearest evacuation centers in your neighborhood or county.
The workshop was able to gather a wide audience ranging from the young and old. While the workshop was mostly intended for kids, several adults were in attendance. Some were there to learn for their own safety and some were there to spread information to their own businesses.
Being prepared for a disaster is essential for everyone. Hunting Park residents are not the only ones who still need to learn and practice disaster preparedness. Other neighborhoods suffer from many of the same problems.
“People everywhere aren’t usually prepared with basic supplies,” Vassallo said. “You don’t usually think of these things everyday because you take them for granted. We all do.”
Even with the use of new technology, sometimes all you need to know is the basics to survive.