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Emergency Preparedness Fair Educates Community

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With hurricanes and earthquakes top of mind, several hundred people attended an emergency preparedness fair held in September at the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus.

For the third consecutive year, Hopkins held the event along with the National Cancer Institute. The fair was held to mark National Preparedness Month, which is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Ready campaign. It is a nationwide effort to encourage families, businesses and communities to work together to prepare for emergencies.

This year’s theme was “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.” Attendees learned that everyone can help first responders by learning how to assist in an emergency before trained personnel arrive.

Emphasizing that message was Voula McDonough, a nurse at Suburban Hospital. Suburban, a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine, is involved with the Stop the Bleed campaign, a nationwide initiative to teach the public how to help in a crisis before medical professionals arrive on the scene. As people walked by Suburban’s table at the fair, McDonough stopped them and asked if they would know how to help someone bleeding at a nightclub, in the grocery store or at a school. She taught them how to use tourniquets and ordinary items to stop bleeding; she used a bloodied and battered medical manikin to demonstrate.

Several exhibits, including one organized by the Rockville Police Department, were set up showing fair attendees what goes into an emergency kit: duct tape, batteries, non-perishable food, hand sanitizer, first aid supplies, bottles of water and much more.

Also at the fair, Johns Hopkins University distributed emergency blankets that are small enough to keep in a car’s glove compartment. The blankets help people maintain body heat.

Washington Gas taught attendees how to deal with utility problems during emergencies. Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service distributed information about replacing smoke alarms and the importance of carbon monoxide detectors. The National Institutes of Health Radio Amateur Club demonstrated how ham radio communications can be used in emergencies.

The National Cancer Institute discussed its volunteer emergency response team.

Other participants at the fair included: American Red Cross; Gaithersburg Police Department; Maryland Emergency Management Agency; Maryland Insurance Administration; Maryland Responds; Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security; and several divisions of the National Institutes of Health.

CATEGORY: In The Community