You hear the same refrain after a disaster strikes: No one thought it would ever happen in their town.
In the past two years, North Carolina has declared six federal disasters, leaving residents with access to basic necessities.
On Thursday, Oct. 25, the Senior Extra program of Sandhills Regional Medical Center will host a free program entitled, “Are you Ready? Disaster Preparedness for Seniors.”
The event will begin at 12 p.m. in the Education Classroom of the hospital and include lunch for participants. It should last an hour.
The presenter will be Rena Shedrick-Marshall of Hamlet, former branch manager of the American Red Cross in Rockingham. Shedrick-Marshall has 22 years of training in almost every area of disaster services including health, mental health, public affairs, human behavior, blood services, shelter management and crisis intervention.
Now retired, she is focused on helping others understand how important it is to be prepared for unexpected disasters that can cause injury and even death.
A disaster can strike at any moment without much warning. In our region, floods, hurricanes, ice and snow storms, and subsequent power outages are among the possible dangers.
“Senior citizens can be especially vulnerable during these times and dialing 911 is not the most sufficient emergency plan,” Shedrick-Marshall said. Phone lines may be out and emergency vehicles limited.
The N.C. Division of Aging and Adult Services recommends that seniors have an individual emergency plan and an emergency kit in the event of an evacuation or if people need to stay in their homes.
Shedrick-Marshall will discuss things you need to know and do in case of an emergency; essential components of a disaster plan; and items you need in an emergency kit.
“Rena is passionate about her work and practices what she preaches,” said Kimberly Harrington, Sandhills Regional’s marketing director. “She will not recommend anything that she is not doing herself. Her suggestions are practical yet lifesaving in case a disaster strikes.”
The program is for Senior Extra members, a free new membership benefits program at Sandhills Regional Medical Center.
To join, sign up online at www.seniorextra.com and click on the “register or log in” link on the right side of the page. From there you will be led to create an account.
While creating your account, be sure to select Sandhills Regional Medical Center under the “Select Hospital” entry. This way, you will be able to keep up with all of the local events and benefits for Senior Extra.
Or, you can sign up at the event on Oct. 25 and bring a friend. Membership cards are issued upon registration.
Seating is limited and space is reserved for the first 25 people. You can RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 910-205-8121. Deadline is Oct. 22.