Public welcome at free and fun Emergency Preparedness Expo

Operation: Safe and Secure on April 20

Do you have a plan if you had to leave your home for days – even weeks – due to a disaster? The Kent County Preparedness Collaborative is offering a free fun and educational expo focused on keeping homes and families safe. The event will be held April 20, 2017 from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. at The DeltaPlex, 2500 Turner Ave NW in Walker.

Presentations include hands-on safety activities, the Fire Safety Trailer from the Grand Rapids Fire Department, Walker Fire Department with their ladder truck, American Red Cross presenting Disney’s Pillowcase Project, safety for people with disabilities, a Shelter Simulation, free refreshments, giveaways and much more. WOTV’s Maranda will hold a safety demonstration with Operation Save a Life.

“Kent County has experienced many emergency situations and severe weather over the past few years,” said Jack Stewart, Kent County Emergency Management Coordinator. “We saw tornadoes in Grandville, Wyoming and Grand Rapids last year, in Kentwood and Grand Rapids in 2014, and massive flooding in 2013. House fires and accidents are regular occurrences. How you respond in those initial moments and having a plan for what you would do next will make a difference, help you avoid serious injury and recover more quickly from an emergency or disaster.”

The Kent County Preparedness Collaborative is made of the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Kent County/Grand Rapids Emergency Management, Kent County’s Sheriff Department and Health Department, Grand Rapids’ Police and Fire Departments, Walker Fire Department, Kent ISD, Consumers Energy, Operation Save a Life and others. “The Kent County Preparedness Collaborative thanks The DeltaPlex, EPS Security, and the partners involved for offering support and sponsorship,” said Leslie Montgomery-Bean of American Red Cross. “We hope that those who attend the event will gain information and learn ideas on how to be more prepared for emergencies and disasters that they may face at home or in their communities.”

Operation: Safe and Secure is an ideal way for families to have fun and learn at the same time,” said Karla Black Emergency Preparedness Coordinator of the Kent County Health Department. “Our involvement is just another way we collaborate with the many wonderful community partners who are dedicated to the safety and well-being of our families across the County.”