PARKERSBURG - Parkersburg Fire Department is taking part in September's National Preparedness Month.
The month reminds residents to prepare for emergencies, including fires, household poisons and other natural disasters such as tornadoes, floods, severe thunderstorms and earthquakes. Capt. Tim Flinn with the PFD said many things go into preparing for disasters.
"September is a good month to review this important information with your family and local schools and other civic groups," he said. "The children will be practicing fire drills in their schools and the weather is generally good in September for practice and preparation."
Officials want to warn residents of calling 911 only in emergencies. Also, in reporting emergencies it is important to stay as calm as possible and be specific in expressing the nature of an emergency.
Also, knowing the address or specific area emergency responders are needed is critical.
"Having a list of medications, past medical history and any allergies helps with care for your family member if medical attention is needed such as ambulance transport or an emergency room visit for the hospital staff," Flinn said.
Fire prevention and preparedness tips include keeping matches and lighters away from children, blowing out candles before leaving home or going to bed and staying in the kitchen during stove top use.
In an emergency, knowing two ways out is important; test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly and replace batters twice a year.
"If any assistance is needed for physically challenged or elderly persons to check the detectors or install them, they can contact the local fire department," Flinn said.
Household poisons should be kept out of sight and reach of children. Dangerous household items include alcohol, household cleaners, medicines, pesticides and fertilizers.
Reviewing important information on these poisons can help law enforcement, medical responders and firefighters in case of emergencies.
For more safety information check the PFD website at www.onlyminutesaway.com or contact the closest fire department.