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“Better to be prepared before the storm hits,” said Steve Rogers.

 After experiencing no electricity for a week during the disaster of hurricane Fran in 1996, Rogers, a Fayetteville native, is now the cochairman of the Cumberland Disaster Recovery Coalition.

The CDRC will host a preparedness expo to teach the public how to handle unexpected emergencies. The group came about after the tornado that occurred locally in 2011.

The mission of the CDRC is to assess unmet needs and provide Cumberland County residents access to, coordination with and education of available resources in a long-term disaster-caused recovery.

“We would just like to bring awareness to the public that a disaster can happen anywhere and anyplace. It’s best to be prepared for what can happen in your area. In our case, the only thing we do not have to prepare for is a volcanic eruption,” said Rogers.

The CDRC is there to assess the needs of citizens in time of recovery and to help them rebuild what was once “normal”.

 During the expo, the American Red Cross, Cumberland County Schools, Cumberland EM, Home Safe Home Inventory, Small Business Administration and TMCK9 Search and Rescue Dogs, will offer presentations. 

The presenters will share knowledge about how to prepare for disasters as well as how to react to one.

Not many people can say they’ve ever experienced a natural disaster but it’s important to be prepared for them. The best way to stay prepared is to have a survival kit on hand. The bare minimum survival kit includes water, food, flashlight, a radio, a first aid kit, a cell phone, an emergency blanket and maps of the area. 

“Most people have the things needed in case of an emergency already in their home. Its best to put everything together in case of an emergency. My children each have their own bags packed in case of an emergency. The expo will be a great place for children to learn how to react in their homes, as well,” said Rogers.  

Add additional things to your kit to fit your family’s needs. When preparing for a disaster, planning ahead is key. Plan where your family will meet in case of an emergency and strategize by working together. In your local area it’s important to find out how law enforcement will respond to the needs of people in crisis.

“Many people think once one disaster happens another can’t ,but that’s not true. Anytime and anyplace, a disaster can happen. Coming to the expo can help start your plan for safety,” said Rogers.

Come to the expo on April 11 at the John D. Fuller Rec. Center at 10 a.m. to learn more about preparedness for disasters. 

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