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South Valley Journal

Be prepared Riverton

Feb 23, 2017 03:01PM ● By Tiffany Webb

Winter blizzard. (

By Tiffany Webb | [email protected]
Nobody knows when the next natural disaster may occur, and that isn’t the only scary part—the other is being unprepared.
There are many things that should be considered when making sure loved ones will be taken care of in an emergency. According to Mayor Bill Applegarth, having a 96-hour kit rather than a 72-hour kit is crucial
because if the issue is widespread, it can take some time for the Red Cross to respond.
“I feel strongly that you have your emergency supplies, you have worked out communication with your family and then you have alternate housing in mind.” Applegarth said.
Applegarth instructs residents to stay in their home during an emergency if the home is structurally safe. However, if it isn’t safe, his idea of alternate housing until Red Cross can respond is to pitch a tent in your backyard. Understandably, this can be a harder task to take on, especially in winter.
“If you can keep yourself dry in a tent, there are ways you can keep yourself warm in a tent,” Applegarth said. “I would have a very good sleeping bag, good clothes and good boots—everything that you would want in a normal winter campout. You can survive if you have the right equipment.”
In the event of an emergency, communication with family is key to make sure everyone is safe. The last of the communications to go down is usually texting, according to Applegarth. Applications for group messaging, email and even social media can be a means of communicating with family members in an emergency.
If communication is needed with the city offices, residents can call the normal city office number, and if everything is running properly with phone lines, these calls will be routed to cell phones set up for this type of scenario.
Other ways residents can prepare for an emergency is by joining a community emergency response team-training program. This could enable people to help their neighbors in emergency situations.
While taking care of oneself in the event of an emergency, residents can feel rest assured that Riverton City will immediately move to bring in whatever help is needed, according to city leaders.
“Our role is to keep city services running,” Applegarth said. “When an emergency comes, you have to improvise as you go along, and we will do everything as a city—and I believe the other government organizations will do the same. UPD, the fire department, Rocky Mountain Power, Questar—will do all they can—to respond and to be flexible.”
Applegarth feels that flexibility, teamwork and communication are key in making sure that everything runs as smoothly as it possibly can in the state of an emergency.
An advantage that Riverton City has is having a hospital close by as well as clinics placed around the city. In Applegarth’s opinion, Riverton is very fortunate to have many police and fire officers that live within the city. Ultimately, these officers are residents here even if they do cover other jurisdictions. If they can’t get to their city, they would gladly join the Riverton team to see the safety of the community through, Applegarth said.
For more information about preparing for an emergency, preparing an emergency kit or signing up for a community emergency response-training program, please visit: