Disasters come in all shapes, sizes and frequencies and have lasting effects on both people and property. Recent events indicate that floods, tornadoes, chemical spills and acts of community violence can occur any time and place.

If a disaster occurs in Fillmore County, local government and disaster-relief will try to help, but residents need to be ready as well because responders may not be able to reach them immediately.

Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety and the loss associated with disasters. Individuals should know how to respond to various types of disasters, be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least three days, have a written plan of action, care for pets and farm animals, and be able to properly reach out to others if you wish to volunteer.

Fillmore County Public Health, Fillmore County Medical Reserve Corps and Fillmore County Emergency Management will be hosting a community preparedness event on Monday, May 13, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Ambulance Building, located at 100 Emergency Drive, in Spring Valley. This event will guide community members and leaders through the process of dealing with various types of disasters, how to develop a disaster plan, signing up for volunteer opportunities and other preparedness strategies.

All participants will be given free disaster planning materials. There will also be a drawing for several disaster kit items.

If one has questions or would like additional information, contact Fillmore County Public Health at (507) 765-2636 and ask for Brenda Pohlman.