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City Offers Free Neighborhood Emergency Preparedness Program

Since September, Mother Nature has given us many reminders both locally and nationally of the importance of personal emergency preparedness and connecting with your neighbors. During our September windstorm and power outage events, neighborhoods that came together to support and assist each other were able to clear debris and trees quickly, check on vulnerable neighbors, and offer support in countless other ways.

During and after Superstorm Sandy, we have seen almost hourly examples of the kind of devastation and difficulty that occurs after a major weather event. We have also seen phenomenal acts of kindness, neighborhoods that have connected and supported each other, and an outpouring of support and volunteers from across the country. The lessons learned from Sandy are still developing but two messages are already unmistakable: prepare for emergencies in advance and connect with your neighbors.

In Anchorage, the Office of Emergency Management has been working hard to help individuals and neighborhoods plan and prepare for emergencies so that our families and our community can be more resilient. “I encourage you to take the time to prepare yourself, your family and your neighborhood so that when disaster strikes, you are ready to respond and recover together,” said Mayor Sullivan.
Disasters and terrible events will occur. We will have more power outages. We will have severe winter weather, house fires and earthquakes.

“I encourage you to take the time now to prepare yourself, your family and your neighborhood so that when disaster strikes, you are ready to respond and recover together,” said Mayor Sullivan.

Next week the Office of Emergency Management will be hosting two Orientations to the Emergency Watch Neighborhood Preparedness Program. This program is designed to help neighborhoods plan and prepare for emergencies as a community. FEMA Administrator, Craig Fugate, said “If neighbors aren’t helping neighbors, no one gets there fast enough.” This program will benefit individuals, families, neighborhoods and our city.

This program, called Map Your Neighborhood in the Lower 48, has proven to be one of the most effective preparedness steps families and neighborhoods can take. The program does take some effort to start but it is free, fully supported by the Municipality Of Anchorage and absolutely worth the effort. This Orientation qualifies citizens to start a program but it does not obligate them to start a program. There will not be another Emergency Watch Orientation until March 2013. The Office of Emergency Management would like to invite residents of Anchorage to attend one of these Orientations to find out more and get involved in emergency preparedness.
The Orientation is free but registration is required. Register online at emergencywatch.eventbrite.com

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