Emergency Preparedness

Emergency preparedness

Are you prepared for an emergency?

If you’re not, would you like to be?

A special program offered by JCCC will teach participants how to create a survival kit and how to make a plan in the event of an emergency. The special needs and concerns of individuals also will be addressed.

The program is called The Community College Citizen Preparedness Program or 3CP2 (named after the initial letters of the program’s name). Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the two-hour class is free to the public.

Recent disasters close to us – the tornadoes in Joplin, Mo., and Reading, Kan., and the flooding along the Missouri River – illustrate the importance of emergency preparedness training. Disasters can happen anywhere at any time, and preparation may help you survive, said Kathy Wing, one of the facilitators for 3CP2 at JCCC. (The other facilitator is Alisa Pacer, emergency preparedness manager for JCCC.)

Unfortunately, only 1 percent of the U.S. population is a trained first responder, and in an emergency situation, you may have to wait for help, especially if the disaster is far-reaching, Wing explained.

In 3CP2, the class facilitator will help you plan the contents of survival kits for your home, your work and your vehicle. That way, wherever you are, your supplies are within reach.

The facilitator also will get you thinking about a communication action plan. When a disaster strikes, loved ones want to know immediately if you are safe. If cell phones aren’t working and the electricity is out, do you have a way to notify your entire family of your status?

Pet owners and people with disabilities have unique challenges in an emergency, and 3CP2 curriculum offers special advice for them as well.

Marilynn Hemenway, an Overland Park resident and Brown and Gold Club member, took 3CP2 as a refresher. She said she’d had the foresight to have an emergency kit in her car, “but when I looked at it, everything had expired 10 years ago.” She said she was looking forward to making a new kit with the checklist she’d been given in the class.

“The program is very well organized,” she said. “I’ve got a friend coming to the next class, and I’m definitely going to tell her it’s worth it to go.”

Information about and registration for upcoming classes can be found here.