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Family disaster preparedness training set for Thursday

Published 5:10pm Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Community members are invited to attend a disaster preparedness training session that will focus on families and children.

The Picayune Fire Department, Pearl River County Emergency Management Agency and The American Red Cross are joining forces to provide the free workshop Thursday, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Picayune Junior High School Library, at 702 Goodyear Blvd., according to a press release from the Red Cross.

Participants will receive training from the Red Cross for family disaster planning assistance, the Picayune Fire Department will share fire prevention and safety tips and the county Emergency Management Agency will discuss severe weather preparedness. Light refreshments will be provided.

“Since we’re currently in the Spring Storm season, and hurricane season is quickly approaching, this disaster preparedness training is extremely timely,” said Lorena Williams,  Community Resilience Coordinator for the American Red Cross South Mississippi Chapter. “We’re delighted to offer it free of charge and we encourage all community residents to attend.”

The workshop is the second program to result from the relatively new Picayune Children in Emergencies Network, which is part of the American Red Cross Community Resilience Pilot. The Picayune Network, comprised of representatives from local government, school and non-profit agencies, has been meeting monthly since October 2011.

Emergency Management Director Danny Manley said the training will focus on helping children get through disasters. Participants will learn how to prepare a disaster readiness kit, evacuation procedures and about shelters, said Emergency Management Administrative Assistant Amanda Harris.

Manley said input and questions from the audience will be welcome during the event.

The South Mississippi Chapter is one of only three pilot sites in the country selected to launch the American Red Cross Community Resilience Pilot. The chapter serves Harrison,  Hancock, Jackson, Pearl River, Stone, George, Greene, Perry, Forrest, Lamar, Marion, Walthall, Lawrence, Jefferson, and Covington Counties.

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