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Top Resources For Emergency Preparedness In Philadelphia

February 1, 2013 7:00 AM

(Credit: Lynne Adkins)

Hurricanes and nor’easters have always been a problem in the Mid-Atlantic region. With sea levels in the region rising at almost twice the global average, severe flooding and the progressive submergence of low-lying grounds, these storms not only are increasingly causing long-tern power outages and loss of jobs, but they are leaving a path of death and destruction in their wake. The damage created by Superstorm Sandy has done nothing if not alert residents to the need to be prepared for the worst. From food storage to first aid classes, here are the top resources for emergency preparedness in the Philadelphia area.
LDS Cannery Bishop’s Storehouse
Pureland Industrial Park
613 Heron Dr.
Bridgeport, NJ 08014
(856) 467-0031

Price: $2.50 and up for can-your-own No. 10 cans/$2.50 and up for pre-packaged food

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly called the Mormon Church) has long promoted emergency preparedness. For decades, members of the church have been advised to gather a supply of food that will last from three months to one year. With this in mind, the church has a number of home storage centers across the country. While you’ll need a Mormon friend to accompany you to can your own beans, rice, sugar, wheat, vegetables, fruit and spaghetti, you can go alone to purchase smaller pre-packaged items including pancake mix, potato pearls, beans, quick oats, rice and flour. The storage life for most items is up to 30 years.

Philadelphia Water Department
Aramark Tower
1101 Market St., 4th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 685-6213

Price: free

The Philadelphia Water Department and the Energy Coordinating Agency provide free rain barrels to Philadelphia residents. The plastic storage containers collect rain water from downspouts and come with a lid, a system that diverts water away from your house and into the barrel, a screen to obstruct debris and a spigot to which you may attach a hose. Storing rain water serves many purposes. It reduces the impact of storm water runoff to streams, thus helping the environment and minimizing sewer backups. You may use the water for gardening, lawn watering and car washing, and in an emergency disruption of your water supply, you may use a purification system to treat the water for household use.

Related: Experts Say Climate Is Already Affecting Philadelphia Area’s Water Supply

Goldberg Army & Navy
1300 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 925-9393

Price: $3 and up

For the those in full survivalist mode, Goldberg Army & Navy store carries a slew of must-have items. Shelves are stocked with ammo boxes, ration bags and rucksacks to hold your 24-hour survival kits. You’ll find insect repellants, tarps, canteens, camping equipment, flashlights and foot warmers here, too. Even gas masks are available.

American Red Cross
Southern Pennsylvania Chapter
2221 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 299-4000

Price: $25 and up per class

The American Red Cross has a global reputation for being the first on the scene when a disaster strikes. The organization has been providing shelter, clothing, food, fuel and relief supplies to disaster victims since Clara Barton founded it in 1881. What many people don’t realize is that the Red Cross not only offers aid during and after a disaster but also before catastrophic events occur. The Community Resiliency department of the American Red Cross provides preparedness education classes, safety training, first aid and CPR courses. Classes cover all sorts of emergencies – everything from bee stings and burns to fires and floods.

Related: American Red Cross Of Southeastern Pennsylvania And Philadelphia

Philadelphia Office Of Emergency Management
240 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 683-3250

Price: free

The Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management is another great resource for individuals, families and groups wishing to take emergency preparedness workshops. The free classes last about one hour and are held on a monthly basis at various churches and community halls throughout the city. Participants learn preparedness skills including developing household disaster plans, creating 72-hour survival kits and making shelter-in-place packs. Emergency plans for people with special needs, checklists of supplies for families and pets, and evacuations routes are also covered.

Susan DeFeo has been a professional writer since 1997. She served as a community events columnist for New Jersey’s “Cape May County Herald” for more than a decade. A writer for numerous online publications, Susan has covered health, fitness, beauty and travel, all subjects that are near and dear to her as a married mother of seven children. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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