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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Survey Shows Most Not Prepared for Emergencies

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Westport officials say they are doing all they can to help residents be prepared for an emergency, but an American Red Cross survey shows most across the country have not taken the basic steps to ensure safety during an emergency.

The national survey released Tuesday found that seven out of 10 people surveyed believe they are somewhat prepared for an emergency, including hurricanes. Only 52 percent of those responded said they have a disaster kit.

The survey also found that 69 percent said they have not established a meeting place to reunite with family members, 65 percent of pet owners said they have no plan to keep their pets safe, 59 percent said they have not selected an emergency contact, 60 percent said they have made no specific evacuation plan, and 73 percent have not practiced their family disaster plan.

First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said he is not surprised by the survey’s results because he knows people are complacent and generally not prepared.

“It’s our job to do all we can to motivate people so they prepare themselves,” he said. “It’s constant reminders.”

Westport officials do things like an forthcoming citizens’ brown bag lunch to remind people, he said.

The luncheon is scheduled for noon on June 14 at Town Hall.

Joseloff, who will be among Connecticut officials attending an emergency management symposium Thursday in Cromwell, said it would be a great business venture for someone to visit people’s homes and help them become prepared for an emergency.

“It could be a winner for the entrepreneur as well as the homeowner who will benefit from being prepared,” he said.

Meanwhile, Gov. M. Jodi Rell said today that she has directed state agencies to organize training sessions and exercises to prepare for the possibility of a hurricane.

The hurricane season in the north Atlantic begins Thursday and runs through Nov. 30.

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Posted 05/31/06 at 04:22 PM  Permalink



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