The Johnston County Public Health Department has received a grant to provide disaster-preparedness kits to Johnstonians in need.
The department received a $10,000 “Bright Ideas” grant from the N.C. Department of Public Health’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response. The county will use the money to purchase disaster kits for residents on Johnston’s Special Needs Registry.
The kits are a collection of items to have on hand in the event a disaster or other emergency prevents access to normal services.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, the American Red Cross and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have many guides to help people build such kits.
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“To be prepared, we suggest having supplies like a weather radio, food and water, and other essentials for at least 72 hours per person in the home,” said David Hesselmeyer, preparedness coordinator with the county’s health department.
Local agencies such as the health department, Johnston County Emergency Services, Johnston County Department of Social Services, Johnston County Community and Senior Services and Johnston Health suggest all residents have a preparedness kit.
These agencies meet regularly as the Special Needs Task Force, which works to prepare Johnston for emergencies and to help those in the xounty with special needs.
“Having a preparedness kit can be the difference between having to be in a shelter away from home or being able to stay at home,” said Steve Strickland, assistant health director.
In the coming months, the task force will be buying emergency supplies and assembling kits. When people on the registry pick up their kit, they will have the opportunity to talk with members of the task force. A date for pickup and meeting with the task force has not been announced.
“In wake of the recent winter weather, it is important to have a preparedness kit ready,” said Kevin Madsen, Johnston County’s emergency management coordinator. “ It is also important that if you or someone you know has a special need to get registered for the Special Needs Registry.”
To be added to the registry, go to johnstonnc.com/mainpage.cfm?category_level_id=450&content_id=3927 or call the Johnston County Health Department ay 919-989-5200, Social Services at 919-989-5300 or Emergency Services at 919-989-5050.
Abbie Bennett: 919-553-7234, Ext. 101; @AbbieRBennett