Disaster preparation seminar scheduled for March 8 at the Logan Valley Mall

New Day Inc. of Blair County is sponsoring a seminar titled “Disaster Preparation and In-Place Shelter” on March 8, from 9-11 a.m. in the Safe Harbor Room on the second floor of the Logan Valley Mall.
Dan Boyles, manager of the American Red Cross for Blair, Bedford and Huntingdon counties, is the scheduled presenter and will discuss various ways that the public can prepare and protect the home and family in the event of a disaster situation.
“I think there is a lot of people out there who don’t know how to prepare their home or to be ready for this or any other disaster,” said Boyles. “They’re getting a lot of information from Homeland Security, and they just aren’t sure what’s taking place or what they should be doing.
“It’s not just relating to biochemical. It’s what to do in case of an emergency like a power outage, winter storm, flood, chemical spill or terrorist hit. The big thing we want to do is take the fear out of the people, and once you take the fear out of the people, they’re not going to panic.”
The two-hour seminar will focus mainly on one-on-one presentations between Boyles and the people who are in attendance. Pamphlets containing information about different disaster situations and what to do will be handed out, and Boyles will be answering any questions that people might have.
The main thing Boyles said that he wanted to stress is that people should realize that in most cases they are already prepared for emergencies and that they need to use common sense in a disaster situation. Running to the store to stock up on bread and milk or extra batteries for flashlights or to put gas in the car is just a panic mode.
“They already have 95 percent of the stuff in their home,” said Boyles. “They’re already prepared. They’re just not thinking that.”
The disaster seminar on March 8 is the first of six presentations scheduled. The federal government started the program in order to train people like Boyles to educate the general public.
“It’s a national program. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Administration) came out with the program,” said Boyles. “People in Pennsylvania were trained for it, and it’s a three to four phase operation. Next year hopefully we’ll do something more advanced with it.
“Once we share the information with people, those people should tell their neighbors, and it should have a snowballing effect. I just wish we could reach out to more people.”
Boyles also stressed that he would present this disaster seminar to other organizations like senior citizens groups, schools and businesses. To contact Boyles, call the Blair County ARC at 944-6146.
Numerous people have showed interest in registering for the class at the Logan Valley Mall. For more information or to register for the class on March 8, contact New Day at 949-9210 or the Safe Harbor Room at 949-9203.