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News Releases

September is Preparedness Month
~ Evacuation know how ~


Posted on 9/23/2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact: Cecily Fong
April 16, 2008701-328-8100


Bismarck, ND - While many of us have never had to evacuate because of an emergency, the ND Department of Emergency Services reminds North Dakotans that evacuations are more common than many people realize. Across the country, hundreds of times each year, transportation and industrial accidents release harmful substances, forcing thousands of people to leave their homes.

In North Dakota, community evacuations occur most often due to fires, floods and sometimes because of hazardous materials. Most recently, some residents in Wahpeton needed to evacuate because of a fire which involved chemicals.

"If evacuation is necessary, it is important to follow the local authorities' directions," said Greg Wilz, Director of Homeland Security. "Your family's safety depends on listening for emergency messages, knowing where you should evacuate to and staying calm."

People evacuating should remember to bring any personal necessities. The list includes a battery-operated radio, medication, glasses, contact lenses and supplies, extra clothing, supplies for your children, such as diapers, food, and water. If you evacuating with a pet, remember to bring a pet carrier, or collar and leash and any items needed for your pet. Depending on the shelter situation, you may also be required to bring your own bedding.

"The reality is that evacuation is a possibility for many of us," said Wilz. "It is important to think about your plan before the emergency occurs so that you are prepared and talk about your plan if you have children; the more prepared they are, the less scared they will be if an emergency occurs."

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