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FOX CHASE - For the first 72 hours after a disaster strikes, residents may have to fend for themselves until emergency personnel can arrive.
With that in mind, Janet Butler of the American Red Cross offered some advice to those in attendance at the June meeting of the Fox Chase City Council.
Butler said the best advice offered by the American Red Cross is to build and secure a survival kit. In this kit, which could be purchased from the American Red Cross or developed by home owners, there should be a number of items.
The most important may be water. The standard is to have one gallon of water per person per day stored in the kits. She also said having medication needed by members of the household is also important.
Important documents should be stored in waterproof containers and kept in the disaster kit.
“Being prepared for 72 hours will help you get through the worst part,” said Butler.
In addition to preparing for disasters, Butler said there were other tips.
For example, all families should practice a fire drill, including a place for everyone to meet outside.
Smoke detectors should be used in all structures. Butler said there is a program for those who can’t afford smoke detectors. And fire department officials have volunteered to install them.
Finally, Butler said, that anyone whose residence is struck by fire could seek assistance. Funds can be supplied for food, shelter and clothing on an emergency basis.
The city of Fox Chase is setting up a disaster emergency coordinator, similar to one already in place in Hillview.
Butler said there is always room for more volunteers. One of the tasks during disasters is to help set up shelters.
In northern Bullitt County, Butler said, there are a number of shelter facilities. Local shelters available with trained volunteers include Hebron Presbyterian Church, Hillview Government Center, Hillview Community Center, all schools, Little Flock Baptist Church and Overdale United Methodist Church. Sites are open in areas where the needs exist.
One last bit of advice offered by Butler was that people need to have a place for their pets to stay. Pets are not allowed in the shelters.
Anyone wishing to learn more about the American Red Cross or to volunteer, call 543-7501.
In other business:
*The Fox Chase council approved the 2012-13 budget.
The city will carry over $130,000 in the general fund. Combined with the new revenue, including $29,000 from the insurance premium tax, Fox Chase will have over $215,000 to spend in the general fund with another $51,600 in the municipal road aid account. The city also has $51,000 set aside in the building fund.
At the end of June 2013, Fox Chase is expected to have $122,730 left in the general fund for the next year.
There was no discussion on the budget, which passed unanimously.
*After a few months of civil rest, verbal shots were again heard at the monthly meeting.
Mayor Bill Broughton told the audience he was upset with a response sent out regarding his e-mail to residents. In his e-mail, Broughton acknowledged that he forgot to commend Lois Whitis for her assistance in getting the Red Cross representative at a meeting.
However, the e-mail response by resident Sandy Higgins to all those on Broughton’s distribution list, called into question the oversight and the amount of praise placed upon magistrate Joe Laswell and councilman Phil Puckett for their efforts in getting the disaster team formed.
Calling those who oppose actions of current leaders the “merry band of malcontents,” Broughton said he was angered that someone would respond to his e-mail and send to everyone on the distribution list.
The harsh words only caused the existing wounds to fester.
Puckett said he was upset that some people felt that the city was being run by the ‘good ol’ boys’ system.
When Puckett used some choice language, councilman William Winbun said enough was enough.
“It’s time to knock this off,” said Winbun. “I’m going home.”
He said the deadline to register for the six council seats is Aug. 14. If people are interested in running, that is the option they can take.
“This anger is going to stop,” said Winbun.
The next meeting of the Fox Chase City Council will be on Tuesday, July 10, at 7 p.m. at the Jewish Hospital community room.
The public is invited to attend.