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City leaders are urging residents to follow the Boy Scouts of America motto: "Be prepared."

Earlier this month, Mayor Randy Brailsford signed a proclamation declaring April as Emergency Preparedness Month for the city. Along with that proclamation, Salem officials have organized and are sponsoring several educational and hands-on training activities to help residents prepare for any type of emergency."The potential for harm to residents and property in the city of Salem due to natural and man-made disasters does exist," Brails-ford said in his proclamation. "(But) individual and community preparedness does most cer-tain-ly lessen the potential for harm."

Recent events, including last summer's disastrous Trojan No. 2 fire, which scorched several thousand acres of Maple Mountain and came perilously close to several Mapleton homes, inspired Brails-ford and members of the Salem Emergency Management Com-mit-tee to plan the activities.

"We hope the incidence of a major disaster never occurs here, but we want our residents and our emergency personnel to be prepared to act quickly to save lives and property if such and event ever happens," Brailsford said.

Perhaps the most important activity during the month will be a mock disaster, the date and time of which is being concealed so officials can test priority plans made by the Emergency Management Committee.

Leaders are encouraging all interested residents to participate in the mock disaster and to formulate their own family and neighborhood plans. Emergency sirens will signal the start of the mock disaster, which will involve all of Salem's emergency response teams.

A preparedness fair - featuring demonstrations and displays from the American Red Cross, Utah Army National Guard, local hospitals, the Utah County Sheriff's department and commercial companies - will run between April 17 and 20 at the Salem City Center, 30 W. 100 South. The fair will also include demonstrations by the Salem Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance Association, as well as tours of the new city emergency complex, which will house the fire department. Dedication ceremonies for that building will be held April 17.

Other activities during the month include assemblies, drills and a poster contest - all of which will be held at Salem Elementary - and preparedness programs in local church meetings. Also, special events for kids and senior citizens and Boys Scouts of America workshops are planned.


Additional Information

Schedule of activities

- Mock disaster: Unannounced date and time. Sirens will sound to signal the beginning of the mock disaster.

- Family preparedness fair: Monday, April 17, to Friday, April 20, from 5 to 8 p.m., Salem City Center, 30 W. 100 South.

- Boy Scout and youth workshops: Tuesday, April 18, from 7 to 9 p.m., Salem City Center.

- Kids Day, including bicycle and water safety programs: Wednesday, April 19, 3:30 p.m., Salem Elementary School, 140 W. 100 South.

- Senior Citizens preparedness: Thursday, April 20, from 5 to 7 p.m., Salem City Center.