January 2023 meeting

Suicide and Mental health

Our next CERT meeting will be Thursday, January 26 in the Holmes Meeting Room at the Chatham Community Library (Pittsboro), beginning at 7pm.

The January agenda will include a presentation and panel discussion on suicide and mental health. After the holidays there is always an uptick in suicides and we need to be able to recognize the potential symptoms and have techniques to help others cope. How can one help? What should be your first response  to a friend, colleague, or family member? Also, this will be our annual administrative meeting. Please attend!

Winter weather tips.

Be prepared for our North Carolina winter weather. While we don’t ever plan on feet of snow like upstate New York, we can expect cold temperatures, freezing rain, ice, and snow. From FEMA and others, here are some tips:

– Check your vehicles: test your battery (power drops as the temperature drops); check your tire tread and tire pressure; check your wiper blades and replace if necessary; add wiper fluid rated to at least 30º; keep your gas tank at least half full to avoide gas line freeze.

– Avoid using cruise control in wintry conditions.

– Accellerate and decelerate slowly.

– Increase following distances in bad weather.

– Winterize your home: clear gutters, repair roof leaks, cut away tree branches that could fall on your house. Check your insulation and replace if necessary. Caulk windows and put on storm windows or plastic sheeting. Have your heating equipment and chimney maintained each year.

– Have equipment to clear snow and ice. Clear areas around your home to allow drainage away from the foundation.

– Keep fire extinguishers on hand, but don’t try to fight a large fire.

While no time is a good time to have an emergency, if one occurs during the holidays it can have an even greater emotional impact.  So make sure you’re as ready as you can be!  Who knows, your few minutes of preparation may turn a catastrophe into a mere inconvenience.

Some other things you may consider checking on:

– Generator:

– Is there sufficient fuel for several days, and is it fresh?

– Can you (easily) start it, or does it need service?

– Does it have lubrication, and do you have any (fresh) on hand if you need to run it for an extended period?

– How old are the batteries in your bug-out bag?  Junk drawer?

– Is everything good in your first aid kit?  No medications that are out-of-date or dried up?  Bandages still flexible and good-to-use?

– Plans

– Communication plan if something happens while folks are away from the house?

– Communication plan to coordinate with someone out-of-state if local coms go down?

– Any new considerations since your family discussed evacuation vs shelter-in-place plans?

Stay safe and we’ll see everyone in January.