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Three essential steps to be ready for emergencies

Manassas City’s Emergency Management Division, part of the city’s Fire & Rescue Department, is encouraging all residents to take steps to prepare for an emergency during September, which is National Preparedness Month. The essentials include setting aside emergency supplies, making a family emergency plan and staying informed about local conditions.

In a recent statement, Chief Brett R. Bowman of the City of Manassas Fire and Rescue Department stated, “The events of the past few weeks, an earthquake and a hurricane affecting Virginia residents, emphasize the need to be ready for any type of emergency or disaster.  Residents need to be prepared for care for themselves and their loved ones when a disaster occurs.  I urge you to be prepared, have an emergency kit and a plan.”

Go to and print out an emergency supply checklist and a family emergency plan.

Robert Halsall, Deputy Coordinator/Planner for the city’s Emergency Management Division, elaborated:

Get a kit. Emergency supplies for include – at a minimum – these basic items:  three days’ food and water; a battery-powered radio with extra batteries; and a family emergency plan.  After getting these supplies, then add a first aid kit, medications if needed, blankets and clothing, supplies for special members of your household, and pet items.

Make a plan.  Choose an out-of-town relative or friend to be your family’s point of contact for emergency communications.  Decide on a meeting place if your family cannot return home because of closed roads. Discuss with your family what you would do in case of severe winter weather in your area.  Write down your plan.

Stay informed.  Before, during and after an emergency you should listen for up-to-date information from your local media and emergency officials.  Local media will give instructions from local, state, and federal agencies that cover road conditions, severe weather watches and warnings, power outages and health information.  Make sure your battery-powered radio is working and you have extra batteries in case the electricity goes out.

The City of Manassas has a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) that is made up of citizens who volunteered to receive special training in how to help their neighbors after a disaster and before public safety personnel arrive.

Residents interested in joining the CERT program are asked to contact the program leader at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 703-257-8458.

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