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September is National Preparedness Month and Erie County, in conjunction with the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, will be helping residents prepare themselves through the distribution of 5,000 Emergency Preparedness Kits. The Kits were assembled by hundreds of area volunteers during the United Way’s Day of Caring on June 21 and will be distributed at branches of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library and by the United Way and their partners.


Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined today at the Isaias Gonzalez-Soto branch library on Porter Avenue in Buffalo by Deputy County Executive Lisa Chimera, Director of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library (“B&ECPL”) John Spears, Erie County Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein and Deputy Commissioner of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Greg Butcher to announce the distribution plan. United Way of Buffalo & Erie County’s President & CEO Trina Burruss also joined the group to discuss the United Way’s plans for distribution of the kits.


“Responding to an emergency requires everyone’s participation, including preparing for the emergency before it occurs,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “These kits provide a variety of   basics that people might need in an emergency, all in one place, and keeping one in your house or car could make a big difference if you find yourself in an emergency situation. I encourage everyone to plan and prepare now. Contact your local library branch for availability and plan to build your own kit with common household items for the next emergency.”


The Preparedness Kits contain emergency blankets, foldable water jugs, emergency food bars and water, first aid kits, mobile phone chargers, an emergency flashlight, work gloves, duct tape, whistles, and more. Each Kit also contains information to aid families and individuals in developing their own emergency plan.


“We are pleased libraries are a partner in this program making it convenient for residents to pick up an emergency kit from our locations.  We ask that you contact your library first to register or call the information line at 716-858-8900 for additional details,” said Library Director John Spears.


“Having essential items in an easy-to-reach kit is one part of your household’s emergency plan,” said Erie County Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein. “This month, we are also encouraging residents – especially older adults, people with chronic medical conditions or mobility issues – to start discussions with their doctor about maintaining prescription medications, medical devices or clinical treatment in case of common emergency scenarios, like a power outage. Think through those situations now, identify what alternatives are available, and start to build your plans.”




For more information:


On the Buffalo & Erie County Public library, visit https://www.buffalolib.org/ 


On winter preparedness (Erie County Department of Health), visit http://www.erie.gov/winter     


On the Erie County DHS&ES, visit https://www3.erie.gov/dhses/  





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