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Getting people prepared for emergencies

Karl Horeis

Several agencies and businesses participated in an emergency preparedness fair in the parking lot of Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse in Carson City on Saturday. Organized by the Red Cross and the hardware store chain, the event was part of a national program called “Pledge to Prepare.”

The Carson City Lowe’s has taken a leadership role.

“We haven’t heard from the Reno store at all,” said Donna Brand of the Sierra Nevada Chapter of the Red Cross. “Carson City has been really forthright and jumped right on the band wagon to prepare for this thing.”

Brand brought preparedness pledges for both adults and kids to sign.

“We’re trying to invite the whole family,” she said.

American families aren’t as aware of dangers or prepared for emergencies as they should be, according to Caroline Punches, executive director of the chapter.

“A poll done by the Red Cross showed that 60 percent of American people are not prepared for an emergency,” she said. “And that’s what we’re all about – getting people prepared.”

Charyl Petersen did her part. A member of the Carson City Fire Department’s Warren Engine Company, she had a table with information on car seat and air bag safety.

“The people who have come out have been really receptive,” the 19-year-old emergency medical technician said. “It’s great to see so many community organizations out here participating together.”

Anyone who wants the safety of their child’s car seat checked can call 887-2220.

Other agencies at the fair Saturday included Sierra Pacific Power, the Nevada National Guard, United Blood Services and Southwest Gas. About eight members of the Carson City Sheriff’s Department search and rescue group were riding ATVs around in orange shirts.

Lowe’s employees had a fire safety video playing. They set up a display with safety products the store offers for sale such as radon detectors, tie-down straps and flashlights.

“All the agencies who said they were going to show up did,” said event organizer and Lowe’s spokeswoman Jo Misuraca.

“There was not a lot of customer turnout but people could take a look from a distance even if they didn’t ask questions.”

Dennis Mitchell of Carson City enjoyed the fair.

“I think it’s a good community event,” he said. There’s a lot of volunteers out here putting in their time – plus I got two free gun locks.”

Contact Karl Horeis at khoreis@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.