Learn how to plan for a disaster at Summit County’s preparedness fair | ParkRecord.com

Learn how to plan for a disaster at Summit County’s preparedness fair

Summit County and Park City’s emergency management departments will host a community disaster preparedness open house next week. An emphasis will be placed on 72-hour emergency kit creation, personal communication plans for families, pet preparedness and registration for the county’s emergency alert system.

At any given time, Summit County is susceptible to a potential emergency or natural disaster.

To help residents better prepare themselves and their families for potential hazards, Summit County and Park City's emergency management departments will host a community disaster preparedness open house. The event is scheduled to take place on Thursday, May 24, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Treasure Mountain Junior High School.

"We have hazards 365 days a year, 24/7," said Chris Crowley, Summit County's emergency manager. "We could have a wildfire, a blizzard or all kinds of other disasters. Event like this build that awareness inside the community so we understand what kind of challenges we face and how we can prepare for them."

The event will be formatted like a fair, with participating organizations hosting booths and performing demonstrations or presentations. An emphasis will be placed on 72-hour emergency kit creation, personal communication plans for families, pet preparedness and registration for the county's emergency alert system.

Summit County Fire Warden Bryce Boyer, along with members of the Park City Fire District, will be on hand to discuss creating a defensible space around homes and fire mitigation in preparation for the upcoming wildfire season.

Members of the Community Emergency Response Team, as well as Emergency Essentials, Unchartered Supply Co. and other preparedness product vendors, are also expected to attend the event. Team Rubicon, an international disaster response organization, will be there as well. Team Rubicon has deployed thousands of volunteers across the United States and world to provide relief to communities in need, according to a Summit County Health Department press release.

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"We definitely want to focus on 72-hour kits and will have a lot of vendors there so attendees can purchase them or get information on what needs to go into one," said Derrick Siddoway, public information officer with the Health Department.

Representatives from Valley Behavioral Health and the Health Department will attend the event as part of a drug takeback program so attendees can dispose of prescription pills and opioids safely.

A similar event was hosted at the Sheldon Richins Building in the fall, Siddoway said. But, he anticipates the open house next week to attract more participants. He said the fair is being designed so it can be brought to other parts of the county in the future.

"It's an overall campaign and ongoing effort to get people aware of the natural disasters we face in Summit County," he said. "It's not supposed to be all doom and gloom. The idea is if you are prepared for these situations then you can have the peace of mind in knowing if and when they occur you know what to expect and how to work with emergency response officials to have the best possible outcome."

Event organizers are encouraging everyone who lives, visits or passes through the county to attend. Participating organizations are expected to talk about hazards and preparedness specifically to Summit County, but the tips are applicable to anyone, Crowley said.

"This preparedness is a grassroots effort," he said. "The planning has largely been done by a group of volunteers, along with county and city staffers. We feel like this is a very authentic event. It is about the community and for the community. It is the community members who are really the leaders and, quite frankly, the first line of defense in keeping safe."

For more information about the open house, go to Summit County's Facebook page.