Emergency Preparedness Committee – Hazardous Waste Disposal

Wow, this is a no brainer: The enclosed flyer announces a new program the City of Dana Point has made available to all residents. Effective February 1, you can call for free, at your curb pick-up, of various Household Hazardous Waste (HHW). This includes a wide variety of materials and items that should never be disposed of in our regular trash pick-up and could be hazardous if kept around the home, if no longer in use. Just follow the instructions provided on the flyer and rid yourself of these items at your doorstep. Aha! Not only can you dispose of a variety of household batteries in above process, but, did you know that storing used batteries can present a fire hazard as they can ignite when leaking acid occurs? Get rid of them if they no longer can be used. And, have you replaced the batteries in your smoke alarms lately and checked that they are functional?

Why not check your new 2014 calendar now and mark reminders to check your various emergency supplies for your home and automobiles? Make sure nothing has expired, spoiled, or changed. Do you have an updated list of all emergency contacts: family, friends, school, and, make sure all family members have copies, too. And, in your automobiles.

A disaster can cause significant financial loss. Your home may be severely damaged or destroyed. You may be forced to live in temporary housing. Income may be cut off or significantly reduced. Important financial records could be destroyed. Take the time now to assess your situation, plan, and ask questions. To help you, consider using the emergency financial first aid kit (EFFAK), a tool developed by Operation Hope, FEMA, and Citizen Corps or contact your local Red Cross for more information. Remember, you can Google an immense amount of help and resources over the internet to get direction and answer questions.

Have you checked your children’s school Website or called the school office to request a copy of the school’s emergency plan? Keep a copy at home, work, in your car and make sure the school’s plan is incorporated into your family’s emergency plan.

While we’re on the subject of children’s safety…. Have you taught them how to dial 9-1-1 and other important numbers such as your office, relatives, friends, etc., in an emergency?

Remember, while we do have police and fire services, medical resources, and other agencies to call upon in need, many of them might be unavailable in a serious disaster, such as an earthquake. Be prepared to address all of your personal and family needs first with the proper emergency preparedness.

—Kent Wellbrock

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