Iron County Emergency Manager Marie Brooks said that in a community with a population of nearly 47,000 people, there are only 350 first responders available to help in case of an emergency. She said that if a natural disaster were to occur, it may take days to get the help required, and it is important for residents to be proactive in providing their own support if needed.
“Just say we have an earthquake or something really bad here and it injures 2,500 people,” she said. “Where are all of those people going to be getting help from?
“Those responders are not going to be able to get to all of them, and most of the time those people are going to be on their own, and that could be for up to two or three days,” she added.
This year’s Iron County Preparedness Expo focused on children’s needs Brooks said. She said they would be giving about 90 starter kit survival packs away to the first family who come to the event and sign up for one at the door.
“This year, because our focus is on kids, these kits are going to be designed for kids,” she said. “And all of the items inside the kits, including the three gallon buckets that are going in them, have all been donated by sponsors.”
Brooks said sponsors are monumentally important to helping to keep the expo free for the public. She said officials want the expo to be free to the public so that people can come and have a good time, learn important survival skills, and have no excuse to stay home and miss all of the fun.
Some of this year’s sponsors include Smith’s Food and Drug, Iron County, Mosdell Sanitation, Jones Paint and Glass, Home Depot, and many more Brooks said.
“If sponsors will continue to pay for this we want to keep it free,” she said. “We want people to come and have a good time, and not have to pour any money out of their pockets, especially for family members.”
In addition to the kits, Brooks said there would be plenty of activities for visitors to do, including a simulated major earthquake. The simulation will only happen once, and it will be at 10 a.m. so those interested in participating should arrive earlier.
She said there will be workshops and lectures throughout the day on different aspects of safety and preparedness, and a first aid class to learn about how to stabilize injuries until help can arrive. There will also be visits from Smokey the Bear, and McGruff the Crime Dog, she said, as well as, many other popular children’s personalities.
The Iron County Preparedness Expo is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Cedar High School, 703 W 800 South, Cedar City, Utah, 84720.
For more information contact Marie Brooks at (435) 865-5332.