Nothing beats being prepared

If the last month has shown us anything, it’s that we need to be prepared.

From Harvey to Irma, we have seen two major hurricanes hit within weeks of each other. As we were continuing to help Texas and Louisiana recover from a category 4 hurricane that decided to sit over the area for days dumping a feet of water, Irma was out in the Atlantic becoming the second most powerful hurricane on record.

It devastated many islands of the Caribbean, and Florida saw lots of damage as well. As we speak, it is continuing to wreak havoc over the southeastern U.S., albeit now a tropical depression.

We’re sure that our state will continue to help those affected by both storms in coming weeks, but it should also give us a chance to look at our own local emergency plans.

That’s why it’s good to see Bedford Care Center of Newton partner with the Newton County Emergency Management Agency in a training exercise like it did last week. This drill, which was a mock active shooter situation, simulated a disaster in our own backyard.

First responders from numerous agencies participated in the drill. And it was a great opportunity for everyone to test their plans of action. If you don’t ever practice those plans, you’ll have no idea where you have gaps in your plans.

We hope that these storms will serve as an opportunity for us to test our own plans at home and our businesses. Where do you go in the event of a fire? Where do you go if you have a tornado? If you have to leave your home in a hurry, where do you go to meet up?

And perhaps it might be best to review our homes and businesses to make sure that we are prepared by having smoke detectors with good batteries and tested, determining your safe place during a tornado warning along with pillows, blankets and even bike helmets to protect yourself during a storm, make sure your fire extinguishers are tested and up-to-date, flashlights and emergency lighting works correctly, etc.

Once you have those plans in place, then have a family tornado drill and fire drill to see if your plan is going to work.

— Brent Maze

Obituaries

Funeral services for William Burton were held at 11 a.m. Monday, May 14 at Thomas & Jones... READ MORE