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    September 21, 2006
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R U Ready?

Get information on disaster readiness at Temple’s first preparedness fair

From terrorist attacks to hurricanes to the avian flu, the world can sometimes seem like a scary place. But experts say the best way to meet these unexpected events is to get ready now, before something bad happens.

That’s the message behind “R U Ready?,” a preparedness fair designed to help students, faculty members and employees get ready now. Events will be held around the Bell Tower from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28.

About two dozen groups from the Temple and Philadelphia community will offer information, demonstrations and giveaways as part of the fair, said Michael McFall, operations manager for Campus Safety.

“We wanted to help everyone understand that you might not be able to prevent events like a hurricane or a flu epidemic, but you can do some simple things to make sure you’re not caught ill-equipped,” McFall said.

Departments and agencies with tables at the fair will have information for students on everything from staying safe on campus and proper use of smoke alarms, to information on what resources are available to keep you healthy during flu season.

There will be demonstrations showing how special teams deal with hazardous materials.

Campus and community health organizations will also be offering information on the services they have available to students and Temple employees.

“R U Ready” has been especially designed with students in mind. Students, many of whom are living away from home for the first time, have not had to plan for their own safety in a crisis, said Alice Hausman executive director for C-PREP, the Center for Preparedness Research, Education and Practice at Temple.  The center develops research and training to prepare organizations for disasters.

“While you should plan with your family for what you would do in case of a crisis, students should also remember that they might be on their own for a while,” Hausman said. Universities like Temple will help students with their needs, but Hausman says it is also wise to make individual plans.

For example, every student should think about what they would grab if they had to leave their residence hall or apartment on a moment’s notice.

Hausman said students should have a “go bag” that’s kept packed and handy, with copies of important documents, a change of clothes, spare batteries and a flashlight, special medications, a portable radio, energy bars and bottles of water. And don’t forget extra food for your pet.

“You don’t have to spend a lot of money to put this together,” she explained. “And it doesn’t take long to prepare.”

Hausman said there are more detailed lists of services available through several Web sites, including www.ready.gov/america/getakit/index.html and the C-PREP site, www.temple.edu/cprep.

 “It’s important to spend some time doing this now,” Hausman said. “We want people to be prepared, not scared.”

In case of bad weather, the event will be held on Oct. 5.

Ray Betzner

Related story: “Temple preparing for possible bird flu epidemic”

 

 


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