Disaster preparations take more than just talk

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The devastation in Japan may have you thinking  how you would survive a severe earthquake or some other type of disaster.  You could put your plans in place to the test in an exercise next month. Experts say to be really prepared you must do more than just talk about preparations.

"In the last week, I've received more messages and requests covering community events and earthquake preparedness than I have in the last three years," said Jonesboro's E-911 Director, Jeff Presley.

Part of being prepared is putting a disaster plan in place or test the one you already have.  Presley says the City of Jonesboro will do its live testing during The Great Central U.S. Shake Out to be held at the end of April.

"This will give us a chance to fine tune our operation," said Presley.

"We'll be deploying the mobile command unit. We'll be starting our generators, running our radio systems off those generators, and testing the system," said Presley.

Presley says if a major disaster like an earthquake hit, that unit and generators would likely be put to use.

"We want to make sure that everything's in good working order and that we have a good system ready to go," said Presley.

Just signing up for the Shake-Out won't prepare you for an earthquake, that's why Presley says develop a plan, and practice it.

"10:15 A.M. on April 28th when we do this drill, just stop where you are at and think about the hazards around you.   What would you do if the ground started shaking," said Presley.

More than a million people in several states have signed up to participate in the Shake Out--schools, hospitals, and even local governments agencies, but signing up is just the first step toward planning for a disaster.

"This is something that's always going to be there...something we have to be prepared for," said Presley.

Again, the Shake Out is on April 28th at 10:15 A.M.

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