Chad Thomas, of the city Department of Public Health, offered tips to members of Burholme Town Watch and Civic Association on planning for a bioterrorism attack or widespread health emergency.
Thomas, a public health communications outreach coordinator, said Philadelphia officials are determined to prepare citizens for any emergency. He cited the failure of New Orleans residents to react properly after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Thomas told residents that the best place to be during an earthquake is under a heavy table or desk. He urged folks to keep comfortable shoes at their work desks, recalling how many women in high heels had trouble going down the steps of the World Trade Center after the 2001 terrorist attacks.
All families should have an emergency kit, he said, pointing to Nov. 4 as a good day to compile essentials. That’s when daylight-saving time began, when Philadelphians and others turned their clocks back by an hour.
To make such a serious topic more fun, Thomas conducted a game of “Emergency Planning Jeopardy.”
Thomas encouraged people to sign up for ReadyNotifyPA to get alerts about emergencies, severe weather and road closures. The information will be sent as a text message or e-mail to cell phones. Sign up at www.readynotifypa.org
For more information on the health department’s bioterrorism and emergency preparedness presentations, call 215-685-6459 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
In other news from the Oct. 11 meeting:
• Nick Kozankywycz, who lives on Shelmire Avenue, explained his Eagle Scout project. The Central High School sophomore and a member of Boy Scout Troop 321 is collecting items for the 19th annual Rubye’s Kids holiday party.
The teenager will accept toys and cash donations through Sunday after Mass at Presentation BVM and St. Joseph, both in Cheltenham. The Mass schedule is Saturday at 5:15 p.m. and Sunday at 8:30 and 11:30 a.m. at Presentation and Sunday at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph.
Donations can also be dropped off on Sunday from 9 to 11:30 a.m. during a Troop 321 pancake breakfast at Presentation’s church hall.
Write to Nick at email@example.com
• A couple of people told Mark Mroz, 2nd Police District community relations officer, that they are seeing more police presence than ever.
Also, residents said they were happy with the presence of a police officer on horseback, except for one little — actually, big — messy problem left in the street by the horse.
“The officer is not going to stop and clean it up,” Mroz said.
Mroz said the horse droppings wash away easier than dog dirt when it rains. The officer thought of a quicker cleanup option when he spotted the Boy Scouts in the crowd.
“I have a perfect idea. I just thought of it. Don’t you guys have to do community service?” he asked.
• Breen’s Tavern, at 704 Huntingdon Pike in Rockledge, offers an IQ Challenge on the third Thursday of the month. Signups will be taken from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Twenty-seven participants will be chosen at 8:45, and the games begin at 9 o’clock. Each weekly winner receives $50 in gift certificates.
For more information, call Jimmie Stewart at 215-326-9226.
• Burholme Community Town Watch and Civic Association will meet on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m., at United Methodist Church of the Redeemer. The guest will be City Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez (D-7th dist.). The meeting on Dec. 13 will feature Tim Hinchcliff, managing director of Burholme Emergency Medical Services. On Jan. 10, the guest will be an official from the city Office of Emergency Management. ••
Reporter Tom Waring can be reached at 215-354-3034 or firstname.lastname@example.org