Merrilee Taylor, Public Health Infrastructure Project
Coordinator - 740.652.2800
residents URGED to prepare ahead for
Unfortunately, our county always has the
potential of emergencies
related to floods, tornadoes, snowstorms, thunderstorms and
extended power outages. Your Fairfield Department of Health staff tries to
anticipate what emergencies we could possibly face and then
develop plans to be able to respond to any threats to health and
For the weather related emergencies, health
department plans address those things that could potentially put
the public health at risk. For instance, if there is a
flood and power goes out for an extended period of time, the
health department might be called on to inspect temporary
shelters to assure hygiene and health issues, or inspect
restaurants and grocery stores to make sure food stays safe
during and after the power outage.
An example of a health emergency for your
family could be that you all get the flu and have to stay home
for several days. Think about what you might do in this kind
of emergency. Do
you have everything you would need at home so that you would not
have to go out?”
“One of the most important things you and
your family can do in case you are ever stuck at home for a few
days is to create an
emergency kit for your home,” says Merrilee
Taylor, Fairfield Department of Health response coordinator.
There are many good lists of what you and
your family would need for an emergency kit. Everyone should
have at least a three-day supply of food and water stored in
their homes, with at least one gallon of water per person per
day. If you have the space, experts recommend a week’s supply
of food and water. Don’t forget your
pets or any livestock.
Choose foods that don’t require refrigeration and are not high
Food you could store might include ready to
eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and soups. Also, have
enough medications on hand that you can stay home for a few days
without having to worry.
Remember to check your supplies at least
once or twice a year. Discard expired items, and use up any
that are nearing their expiration date. Place newer items in
the back and use the older items in the front. It’s best to
rotate your bottled water supply every six months as well.
Be informed by
getting a weather alert radio from either an electronics store
or a major retailer. Learn more at
If Your Power Goes Out...
If your power goes out, keep
refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to
maintain the cold temperature. Each time the door is opened, a
significant amount of refrigeration is lost. If your
refrigerator is kept at 40 degrees or below, it
will keep food safely cold for about four hours if it is
unopened, according to the United States Department of
Agriculture website. A full freezer will hold the temperature
for approximately 48 hours, or 24 hours if half full and the
door remains closed.
Food may be safely refrozen if it still
contains ice crystals or is at 40 degrees or below. If the
power has been out for several days, then check the temperature
of the freezer with an appliance thermometer or food
thermometer. Discard refrigerated perishable food such as meat,
poultry, fish, soft cheeses, milk, eggs, leftovers and deli
items after four hours without power.
Preparing for Health Emergencies
Across the country, local, state and national
government agencies have been working together for years to
protect all our citizens from both manmade and natural
disasters. Locally, the Fairfield Department of Health works
with the Fairfield Emergency Management Association and other
County agencies to be prepared for health emergency or disaster
to ensure the safety of our residents.
To make sure that Health Department staff are prepared, they
complete ongoing required emergency response training and
participate in local and regional training exercises.
You Can Be Prepared
Individuals and families should also be prepared for health
emergencies. If you live alone, getting the flu or a bad cold
and having to stay in bed for a few days could be a health
emergency if you are not
prepared. Plan ahead, and make sure you have the necessary
things including food and water easily available at home so that
you could remain in bed and
take care of yourself.
Being prepared also means you are aware of how diseases are
spread. This way, you can take precautions to avoid spreading or
getting germs. Maintain good health habits, and be sure to cover
your sneeze with a tissue and dispose of it promptly. Wash your
hands often. Cover your cough by coughing into your elbow or
sleeve and not into your hands.
You can also help yourself and your family by preparing for a
longer stay at home in the event of a natural disaster such as
a tornado or flood or even a
pandemic flu outbreak. There
are many good resources available online to help you prepare and
offer checklists for what to put in your disaster kit.
Ready.gov is an easy
online way to find out more about being prepared. The U.S.
Department of Homeland Security has created this site to educate
citizens about how to be prepared in case of a national
Ready.gov has this
advice about making a preparedness kit. When preparing for a
possible emergency situation, it's best to think first about
the basics of survival: fresh water, food, clean air
Publications You Might Find Useful
Some files are large and may take a few moments to download.
Thank you for your patience.
FEMA - Are you Ready?
American Red Cross materials dealing
with terrorism and unexpected events:
Your family disaster plan
Your family disaster supplies kit
Su epuipo de suministros para la
familia en caso de desastres*
Food and water in an emergency