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How to help 9-1-1 help you

If you need emergency responders, you dial 9-1-1. But can they find you? In any emergency, you want the responders to reach you quickly. To do that, they need to be able to find you.

Take a good look at your house numbers. Do you even have any up? Are they faded? Are any of the numerals missing? Has a tree or shrub grown to cover them up?

House numbers are critical for emergency responders to find you. They are easy to install, and can be purchased at home improvement stores everywhere. The numbers should be at least 4" high on your house, apartment or garage, and visible from the street. If the numbers cannot be seen from the street, then post another set of numbers at the street end or your driveway or yard. If your mailbox is out by the road, put your house number on the mailbox (both sides) or the mailbox post. And remember to keep the snow banks cleared away so the numbers show even in the winter.

Create an "Emergency Notebook" to hold important information you might need if you have had to leave in a hurry. Some things to put in this notebook might be:

• Important phone numbers (family, doctors, pharmacy, etc)

• A list of medications taken by each family member (it can be hard to think of them for the EMTs or hospital emergency room when you are stressed by a medical emergency)

• A list of things to grab if you had to evacuate (medications, pet food, contact solution, incontinence products - all would make even a short stay in a shelter much more tolerable).

Keep this notebook in a place where you could easily grab it to take with you in an emergency. It would be great if you never have to make an emergency call to 9-1-1, but if you do, the preparations listed above could make it less stressful.

The Senior Connection is a column provided by the Clinton County Office for the Aging. For more information about services for senior citizens, contact their office at 135 Margaret St., Suite 105, Plattsburgh or call them at 565-4620. Information is also periodically provided by the Behavioral Health Services North Caregiver Resource Center. They may be reached at 565-4543 or 565-4625.

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