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      Transitioning Quincy helps residents prep for natural disasters

      An organization in Quincy wants to make sure all Quincy residents are prepared when a tornado or other natural disaster hits.

      Transitioning Quincy teamed up with two public service organizations to host an emergency preparedness forum at the Quincy Public Library Sunday.

      Transitioning Quincy wants to help people transition from being dependent on emergency responders into more self sufficient residents.

      "What to do if they find themselves in an emergency, where they can actually help the responders," Hanlin said.

      When severe weather hits Quincy, first responders can't always make it to every call. It's an issue Transitioning Quincy member Terri Hanlin feels everyone should prepare for.

      "There are certain steps, certain things you want to have on hand in your household," Hanlin said.

      Quincy residents ask experts what tools and resources they need to prepare for a disaster.

      "Well, I think I always want to be prepared in case something does happen," Quincy resident Bridget Flynn said.

      "It's important for us to have meetings where we get stronger communication, so we're aware of what we can do," Quincy resident Angelo Joseph said.

      Quincy's Deputy Fire Chief Steve Salrin and Red Cross disaster representative Barb Richmiller offered residents guidance on how to prepare for severe weather disasters.

      Salrin recommends all residents sign up for the department's CERT program.

      "The CERT program we offer yearly, basically that covers a little bit of self awareness of how to handle a disaster situation should the fire department, the police department, the ambulance service become overwhelmed," Sarlin said.

      Salrin said CERT can teach residents how to react when a disaster strikes.

      "A lot of what we do covers a little bit of fire suppression, a little bit of search and rescue, a little bit of medical operations," Sarlin said.

      But the most important advice for residents is to keep a weather radio and an emergency kit inside their home.

      "Food, shelter, and clothing, and food of course. The top of that is water," Richmiller said. "Make sure you have water, make sure you have no perishable food that you can actually get open."

      Richmiller said residents should always be prepared for the unexpected.

      "It's easy to put things off. We never know when a disaster will happen so we need to get information, make a plan and get a kit together just in case," Richmiller said.

      If you want to learn more about how to protect yourself from a severe weather disaster, then come to KHQA's Storm Spotters Training on March 31, at John Wood Community College. Click here for more details.