Learning from our experiences, good or bad, has always been good advice. That's exactly what the Randolph County Commission and Office of Emergency Services appear to be doing.
Residents attending a forum this week at Elkins High School posed many questions regarding the June 29 storm that left most of the county without electricity for days. Some responses were vague and others were very detailed. Mostly, though, county officials reiterated that without power it was nearly impossible to inform people about what had happened and where to get supplies.
Some steps have been taken to enhance communications in the event of another power outage. The local radio station now has generators. The Inter-Mountain distributed and placed on our website the county's Emergency Preparedness Guide. Those attending the forum were reminded that they should always call or visit their local fire department in case of emergency.
Other ideas were discussed and some may be put into action. The county is attempting to obtain funding for generators for fire departments that don't have them. The county's emergency radio system is being considered for an upgrade. Another emergency plan will be released in the fall.
Individuals and families need to make their plans, too. Make additions to the standard checklist of keeping a supply of water and non-perishable food, flashlights and batteries. This can include special items needed for children or those who require medication, shelter for your pets and a method of communication to contact family members. It's also a good idea to keep your gas tank full, your cell phone charged and a corded telephone on hand.
The consequences of the June 29 storm were horrendous. Unfortunately, it won't be the last disaster our area experiences. All of us need to be ready when it happens.