Submitted by :
Ann Dixon, Director, Homer Public Library
Carey Restino, Coordinator, Friends of the Homer Public Library
The Homer Public Library, in collaboation with the Friends of the Homer Public Library and local emergency responders, held a month of activities aimed at increasing the community’s emergency preparedness thanks to a $5000 NN/LM Community Preparedness Day Award. Events, which were timed to coincide with national Disaster Preparedness Month, kicked off on September 21st with a special Story Time about safety and natural phenomena that occur locally, such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
On September 24th the library hosted a Community Preparedness Day. Area emergency responders gave 15-minutes presentations throughout the day on emergency preparedness issues. In addition, the public was invited to visit information booths operated by various agencies, including the Alaska Division of Forestry, the Homer Volunteer Fire Department, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management and the Homer Senior Citizens.
One of the biggest draws of the day was the bright orange buckets, used to distribute 75 emergency preparedness kits funded by the award. These buckets included a first aid kit, an emergency radio, and pamphlets from FEMA and the local veterinary clinic on how to prepare for an emergency. The bucket itself was a useful water-storage device. Community members, including the Homer City mayor, flocked to the library to pick up their buckets and then stopped by the booths to fill those bucket with more safety information.
Additionally, on September 28th the library hosted a forum for survivors of the 1964 Good Friday earthquake to tell their stories. More than a dozen survivors shared compelling stories to an audience of over 30 people, imparting wisdom and perspective about the very real risks faced by Alaskans living on the “ring of fire.”
The Homer Public Library is also purchasing materials on emergency preparedness, survival, self-sufficiency and related topics to better serve this end-of-the-road community. The activities and material funded by the NN/LM award have improved community awareness about emergency preparedness and placed helpful tools into the hands of Southern Kenai Peninsula residents.
Note: If you organization is interested in holding a Community Preparedness Day event, we are currently offering funding. Please see the funding announcement – applications are due December 16, 2011.