Is Craighead County prepared for natural disaster?

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Over the past couple of years, making sure you're prepare for a natural disaster has become even more relevant. From the 2009 ice storm to flooding this past spring. So how prepared is Craighead County?

"I feel that Craighead County is on par with any County in the state when it comes to preparedness," said Craighead County Office of Emergency Management Coordinator David Moore.

He says the emergency plan is always evolving, with several different plans in place among the various departments, from earthquake response to terrorist attacks. There are also different groups who train in specific areas.

"We have the Jonesboro city Sky Warn. These are the guys that stick their neck out during severe weather," said Moore. As well as a Medical Response Team. "They are doctors that volunteer their time and they've work disasters. They've been to some of the big disasters around the country."

Moore says the county's emergency plan is evaluated yearly, with major revisions every five years. The last major one done back in 2009. While the communication system is in good shape, Moore says the department does have few areas that need some growth. "Statewide, search and rescue is one of the biggest things we need to improve on," said Moore.

But he says while it's important for the county to have a plan, it's even more important for you to have your own plan.

Gary Loggins knows how important it is to be prepared. "Everyone know about the New Madrid earthquake. It's not if it's going to happen, it's when. I've known about it all my life. But, just about three years ago we started getting prepared for it," said Loggins.

He says this closet packed with batteries, flashlights, and food would be enough to survive at least three months. Loggins says he does keep a close eye on expiration dates, and keeps it stocked. Moore says for 2012 they are really pushing for residents to take part in the C.E.R.T programs, which stands for Community Emergency Response Teams.

"It's to train the people at the block level. How to take care of yourself. How to take care of your family. How to take care of your neighbors," said Moore.

As for Loggins, his advice...."Be prepared. It's like with anything. I mean we never prepare for a tornado, but it happens. We never prepare for floods, but it can happen," said Loggins.

Moore says they are also interested in working to get a C.E.R.T program put into the school. If you or your neighborhood is interested in the program or just help putting together an emergency plan. For more information email David Moore at dmoore@craigheadcounty.org or call at (870) 933- 4575.

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