Parenting: Prepare Night Family Event

David Murphy says Wednesday, September 19, is Pledge to Prepare Night at Franklin Institute, a free family event with an important message.
September 18, 2012

Pledge to Prepare Night, also the work of the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management, is a chance for kids and parents to meet local first responders like fire fighters and EMTs. They can also learn about the importance of being prepared for an emergency when it happens.

Families can learn about which supplies a household should have and pick up a Family Emergency Plan Template to help plan escape routes from their home and a meeting place once outside. Attendees will be able to sign up for emergency text alerts from the Office of Emergency Management.

I've written before in this space about this subject in prior years, especially when it comes to emergency supplies. For example, a family should have several working flashlights, portable radios, batteries, non-perishable food and water. Copies of important documents are also necessary, like a list of vital phone numbers and deeds to mortgages - all kept apart from the originals, preferably in a watertight, fire safe location.

This is the first time that this annual recognition of Emergency Preparedness has had so public an event associated with it. On hand at the Franklin Institute will be enough cool stuff to keep little ones occupied, like tactical gear of the Philadelphia Police Department Homeland Security Unit and the Philadelphia Fire Department.

At the end of the event, the Philadelphia Fire Department's elite Heavy Rescue 1 Unit will perform a "high angle rope rescue" demonstration. I'm not sure what that is, exactly, but it will happen inside the atrium and I bet it will be way cool!

Adults can also explore volunteer opportunities with local disaster relief agencies like the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and the Medical Reserve Corps. What's more, some of the museums regular exhibits will also be open and also free.

For more information about emergency preparedness or National Preparedness Month, visit the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management's web site at

---David Murphy

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