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Here’s what you need to know to prepare for a disaster

By Greg Mellon, Behind The Badge

Orange County residents can best cope with natural and man-made disasters by being ready in advance.

Disasters can happen at any time. They can be man-made or natural. They can be sudden or unfold over a longer period of time. They can vary in scope and severity and can strike without warning.

Because of this, experts repeat the same mantra – be prepared, be prepared, be prepared.

“Being prepared is not only self-service, but also a public service so we can help each other,” said Christian Erickson, Community Preparedness Officer for FEMA District 19.

“We’re used to the idea that when we contact 9-1-1, someone will come and help us,” said Steve Rhyner, Emergency Operations Coordinator for Santa Ana. “In the case of a disaster, we need to be our own first responders so we can take care of our homes, ourselves, our families and our neighbors.”

September is National Preparedness Month and local officials are urging residents to get into the proper preparedness mindset.

Locally, ReadyOC is the go-to site to help Orange County residents think about, and prepare, in case disaster strikes. As part of its overall message and in coordination with September’s National Preparedness Month, the group has launched its new campaign “Ready to React.”

According to Ready OC, “Ready to React is an initiative created to educate the public on what to do during disasters before first responders can reach them. First responders try to get to the scene as soon as possible, but it can take minutes, hours, or days to reach you, depending on the type and scale of the disaster. Knowing how to be prepared and react can save you and your loved ones.”

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