September 05. 2013 9:04PM

Nashua event geared toward helping residents plan for emergencies

Union Leader Correspondent

NASHUA — City officials want local residents to be prepared for emergencies and have organized an event to help motivate families to be ready for the unexpected.

The city’s Office of Emergency Management, in conjunction with the Pheasant Lane Mall, is hosting its second annual Emergency Preparedness Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at the mall.

There will be about 30 exhibitors on hand for the event, which is designed to help families, businesses and communities prepare and plan for various types of emergencies — including extended power outages, fires, floods and more.

Police, fire, emergency medical services and public health representatives will be distributing free and important safety information for children and adults.

“This is a chance for all the agencies and private groups that are involved in safety and preparedness to come together,” said Justin Kates, director of emergency management for the city, in a statement. “This is a great chance to educate our community.”

An estimated 10,000 people will be walking through the mall on Saturday, and Kates is hopeful they will take a few moments to learn how to protect themselves and their families during unexpected situations.

Demonstrations on how to properly use a fire extinguisher and apply CPR will be available, in addition to an electronic driving simulator to help stress the importance of safe driving skills.

Coloring activities will be available, and visits from Smokey Bear and Sparky the Dog will take place, along with giveaways and preparedness kits.

September is National Preparedness Month, a month-long effort encouraging households and businesses to be prepared for emergencies so that they are more self-reliant when they occur.

A simple way to start preparing is to plan for three situations: staying inside your home for at least three days without access to electricity, water, stores or other local services; leaving your home quickly to go to a safer place; and connecting with friends and family when communication systems are down or overloaded.

The goal of this year’s event is to encourage participants to go home and make an emergency preparedness plan that will help families become more self-reliant before, during and after emergencies, according to the release. Another vital step is to begin stockpiling emergency supplies.

For more information on emergency planning, visit