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INK teaches kids, adults to prepare for disaster

Residents can develop a plan at agency's Personal & Family Preparedness Fair

POSTED: September 26, 2013 1:00 a.m.

Would you know what to do if a disaster struck your neighborhood? Would your child know what to do? Would you know whom to call?

In most cases, INK leaders believe the answers would be no. That’s why INK — the Interactive Neighborhood for Kids — has planned its first Personal & Family Preparedness Fair to inform families what to do in emergencies and how to get help.

The event will be 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29, at INK at 999 Chestnut St. in Gainesville.

“This is the educational component of preparedness for families and their children,” INK executive director Sheri Hooper said. “In case a disaster happens, instead of having these kids panic and become part of the problem, they could help be a solution to the problem.”

On Sunday, INK will give each child, as long as supplies last, a backpack filled with items needed following a disaster. Items will include a flashlight, water, notepad, toothpaste and toothbrush.

Bill Wittel, the fair’s liaison between public safety and the private sector, said the fair has two purposes: to teach families about personal preparedness and to explain how local public safety agencies are able to respond more efficiently than ever before. For example, Gainesville/Hall County has installed an emergency-alert system, called Citizens Alert, to notify residents of an impending disaster, such as a tornado, in a matter of seconds. Then residents can respond before or after a disaster strikes.

It also allows public safety agencies to get help from the public.

Residents can download the Citizens Alert system onto their smart phones and other communication devices to receive the messages.


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