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Are you set for the next big storm?

The storm — both proverbial and literal — has passed but we must always be thinking about the next one on the horizon.

It has been nearly two weeks since strong thunderstorms and heavy winds blasted the Tri-State, causing significant damage to public and private property. It also drastically impacted the lives of nearly everyone in our entire region.

Thousands of people were without power and some are still waiting for all their services to be restored. Cleanup efforts are under way, but this will be ongoing process for weeks and months to come. The important thing that we must not lose sight of is that things that can be done to help prepare for natural disasters like this.

Many Lawrence Countians were lamenting the fact that they didn’t have needed supplies including nonperishable food, batteries, flashlights, generators, coolers and other items that could have made a big difference during this difficult time.

Here is a list of supplies suggested by the Federal Emergency Management Agency:

– Water, one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation

– Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

– Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, and extra batteries for both

– Flashlight and extra batteries

– First Aid kit

– Whistle to signal for help

– Infant formula and diapers, if you have an infant

– Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

– Dust mask or cotton T-shirt, to help filter the air

– Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place

– Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

– Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)

Despite all our technological advances, Mother Nature often reminds us that we are all still vulnerable.

Now is the time to think about preparedness before disaster strikes.