Disasters happen whether you're ready or not

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Between hurricanes and wildfires, health experts say it's always good to be prepared. September is national preparedness month.

According to Mesa County Public Health, you should prepare for all kinds of disasters including flash floods, blizzards and landslides. Those are the disaster most likely to happen in our area.

"You never know when disaster can strike so you want to be prepared for that emergency ahead of time,” said Mesa County Public Health’s information and communication manager Katie Goddeyne.

Taking the time to prepare for an emergency can make a huge difference in keeping your family safe.

"The average person drinks a gallon of water a day…same for food you should have at least two weeks of food that's non-perishable in case we lose electricity," said Rich Acree, an emergency services sergeant at the Mesa County Sheriff's Office.

Mesa County Public Health said it's a good idea to have flashlights, batteries and cell phone charges ready to go.

"Another thing we like to think about are medications for family members. If you have someone that has special needs in your family or who is elderly and may have some other needs there. For me I like to think about my dog,” said Goddeyne.

Pet food, health records, extra cash, maps and an extra set of keys are often forgotten items.

"People get complacent and they say 'it's not going to happen to me or happen to my community' but we do have things that happen here," Acree said. "We are not totally isolated from the world but we are a large enough community where something major could happen as well."

We may not see hurricanes here on the Western Slope but we do have our fair share of wildfires, floods, and snowstorms.

“You never know what's going to happen on those interstates, as you know in the winter the interstate can be closed down several times for several days so grocery stores run out of supplies,” said Acree.

Practice makes perfect.

"Doing a fire drill at home, especially with those little ones...making sure that they practice and they know where to go,” said Goddeyne.

It’s also important to have CPR and first aid skills.Don't forget emergency situations can happen anywhere at any time so discuss emergency plans and kits at work or at schools.

The Red Cross also has an app to help you get packed up.

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