Carbon County will again participate in a statewide weather emergency exercise at the 911 Communications Center in Nesquehoning on Thursday, March 29.

This exercise is part of Weather Emergency Preparedness Week, which was adopted by the Carbon County Commissioners during last week's meeting. Weather Emergency Preparedness Week is March 26 through March 30 and held in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and U.S. National Weather Service's programs that help prepare citizens and elected officials for severe weather related dangers.

The weather emergency exercise will be held for members of county emergency teams beginning at 9 a.m. The exercise will deal with severe weather related emergencies such as tornadoes, floods or high winds, which are real possibilities for the area.

During the exercise, the Communications Center will issue severe weather warnings, which will be placed on a message board at the facility. A group of organizations participating in the event will then be assigned to each incident. They will be responsible for overseeing its mitigation, writing up an incident report and updating information until the emergency is resolved.

A copy of each incident report will then be submitted to PEMA.

The exercise allows county and municipal governments, as well as schools, hospitals, nursing homes, child care centers and other special facilities to test their disaster preparedness and response programs.

In addition to preparing schools, government agencies and elected officials, county residents should also prepare their families and pets for emergencies by making an emergency kit and discussing a plan in case an evacuation would be needed.

The emergency kit, which will help the family survive without outside help for at least 72 hours, should contain water, high energy ready-to-eat foods, and personal medications for each family member, as well as a first aid kit, blankets, a change of clothing, flashlights, a battery-operated radio, fresh batteries and more.

PEMA has created a website to help citizens prepare for emergencies. Emergency kit checklists; as well as family plan templates can be downloaded at www.ReadyPA.org [1].