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Disaster preparedness seminars set

Andy Bourelle

Are you ready for the next disaster? Whether you’re a business owner or property owner, are you prepared for another flood, or wildfire, or maybe even an earthquake?

If not, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department and the Sierra Nevada Chapter of the Red Cross might be able to help.

Four Disaster Preparedness Seminars will be held next week, two at the Lake and two in the Valley, each location having one for businesses and one for residents. The seminars are free and open to the public.

“We want to provide as much information as possible to the public,” said Sheriff Ron Pierini. “The more prepared people are, the better off we are going to be (in the event of a disaster).”

The times and locations for the seminars are as follows:

n Family Disaster Preparedness for the Lake, Monday, 10 a.m. to noon, Harrah’s Hotel and Casino Show Room;

n Family Disaster Preparedness for the Valley, Monday, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Carson Valley Inn;

n Business and Industry Disaster Preparedness for the Lake, Wednesday, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Douglas County Administrative Building Justice Court, Stateline;

n Business and Industry Disaster Preparedness for the Valley, Thursday, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Douglas County Administrative Building Commission Chambers, Minden.

The family seminars provide information on a variety of aspects dealing with disaster preparation including what types of events are likely to occur, how to make a family disaster plan, care for animals and assist the elderly.

The business seminars provide information on how to plan for a disaster, how to help employees in the event of one and what kind of resources are in the community which can help. Business owners, retailers, corporate offices, manufacturers and distributors are invited to attend.

Although the seminars will educate people on several types of disasters, Pierini said much of what brought about having the seminars is the predicted unexpected winter conditions Douglas County may or may not have this year.

In the case of another flood, Pierini said, some specific home issues which will be addressed include electrical problems and the potentially dangerous interaction of ordinary household chemicals with flood waters. Information will be provided regarding food in the case where a family is “landlocked” and unable to leave home.

Pierini said the business seminars would be educational about how to get the business going again in the case that it is shut down by a disaster. The seminars will help answer questions about what to do regarding employees who can’t make it to work, and what can be done to help employee’s families.

The seminars will be hosted by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Douglas County Emergency Management, the East Fork Fire Protection district at the two meetings in Minden and the Tahoe-Douglas Fire Protection District at the Stateline seminars. They are sponsored by the Sierra Nevada Chapter of the American Red Cross.

“Part of our mission at the American Red Cross is to prepare the public for disaster,” said Rebecca Monson of the Sierra Nevada Chapter. “Part of that is done through education. In January, during the floods, we could see that people need to be prepared for things like this.”

Monson said the seminars will be educational about all disasters possible for the area, from a single-home fire to an earthquake.