A special event is again coming to Howell to help prepare residents and their families on how to cope, survive and prevail over disasters.

The 5th Annual Family Emergency Readiness Expo will be held this Saturday, September 14th, from 9am to 4pm at the Livingston County Public Service Complex on Tooley Road. Event organizers say in a large scale emergency scenario, where first responders may be overtaxed and unable to get to those in need for hours, perhaps even days, bare necessities like food, water, electricity, communication and medicine may be unavailable for an extended amount of time. The Expo aims to educate community members about how to handle those situations. Expo Director Jay Drick says the event began four years ago in partnership with Livingston County EMS and is now the largest free readiness expo in all of Michigan.

The Expo will feature numerous speakers who will educate on topics like how to survive an active shooter situation, portable generator safety, how to deal with a home intruder, and disaster-proofing pets and livestock. The event also provides literature and exhibitors with tips and information. Attendees can register for free items like radon and smoke detectors, and can have a Child ID rescue kit made. The kit contains a child’s vital information and details, like digital fingerprints, a still picture and dental impressions, which Drick says is critical for authorities in the event the child goes missing.

Speaking to why organizers decided to offer the Child ID kit Drick says, "We thought we were doing a good job until we realized that the biggest disaster any parent could suffer would be a lost or missing child. Most of us agreed we'd take ten blackouts, we'd live through 20 ice storms, we'd live through 20 disasters, if we could never have our child go lost or missing."

Drick adds that the Expo aims to bring community members back every year as he feels “no two visits are the same”. He says attendees can’t see everything in one year and there are always new demonstrations and focuses, as well as updated information. A full itinerary and more information about the Expo can be found at the link below. (DK)