March 3 through 9 is Carbon County's Weather Emergency Preparedness Week.

During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, the board voted to approve a proclamation that dedicated next week to making sure people are prepared in the case of weather emergencies. The week is held in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. National Weather Service's week-long program that alerts citizens and elected officials to severe weather related dangers.

Mark Nalesnik, coordinator of the Carbon County Emergency Management Agency, said that the county will be again participating in the statewide weather emergency exercise on Tuesday, March 5, at the 911 Communications Center in Nesquehoning.

"We will observe the week by having an activation of the Emergency Operations Center," Nalesnik said, adding that a portion of the volunteer staff will participate and go through some scenarios to address issues that could possibly arise within the county when severe weather strikes.

The county has participated in this exercise for a number of years, and then reported back to PEMA with their incident reports.

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

Nalesnik also stressed that during Weather Emergency Preparedness Week, residents should make an emergency kit and discuss a plan in case of weather emergencies.

The plan should include an emergency kit, which will help the family to survive without outside help for at least 72 hours. The kit 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 and fresh batteries. 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].

Nalesnik thanked the commissioners for adopting the proclamation.

Carbon County Commissioner Wayne Nothstein said that emergency preparedness is very important to the county.