Broome County wants you to be prepared for emergencies

By Jillian Marshall

September 21, 2013 Updated Sep 21, 2013 at 11:24 PM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Broome County partnered with the American Red Cross to make sure local residents are ready for an emergency or disaster.

September is National Preparedness Month.

The second annual Broome County Emergency Preparedness Fair lined the hallways and took over the parking lot of the Binghamton University Event Center.

Forty tables held information on how to stay safe in the event of a disaster. An emergency helicopter flew in to demonstrate how they would save people in an emergency.

The county and Red Cross both agree, the most important way to be prepared is to make an emergency kit.

"When an emergency strikes, people are paranoid and they get very scared," said Broome County Executive Debbie Preston. "But if you have this ready, so you can pick it up and go, that makes it a lot easier."

The Red Cross recommends packing enough to sustain an average family for at least 72 hours.

Once you have a kit, the next step is to make a plan.

"It's not if a storm or an emergency is going to strike, it's when," said Community Executive of Southern Tier Red Cross, Shelley Bierwiler.

FEMA's recommendations for a basic emergency kit:
1. Water, one gallon per person per day
2. Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
3. Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
4. Flashlight and batteries
5. First-aid kit
6. Whistle
7. Filter mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
8. Moist towelettes
9. Wrench or pliers, to turn off utilities
10. Manual can opener, for canned food
11. Plastic sheeting and duct tape, to shelter-in-place
12. Garbage bags and plastic ties
13. Medications
14. Cash
15. Important documents

Contact the county or Red Cross for more information.