Members of Russett's Security Committee, including my husband, Tim Reyburn; Bobby Allen; and Lorna Abraham, hosted a free emergency preparedness seminar on Dec. 8, in the community center. Nationally recognized emergency planning and Continuity of Operations (COOP) specialist Cassie Johnson provided realistic advice on personal and family preparedness. Cassie, a mother of three, has more than five years of experience in federal agency continuity operations and continuity program management plan design, development, implementation, maintenance and testing. She has given presentations to various government groups and private sector groups.

Weather events over the past three years — such as Hurricane Sandy, the derecho, and Snowmageddon one and two — have many of us thinking about emergency preparedness. Some preparations are essential if one wants to at least remain comfortable during a power outage or extreme weather event. Know the risks in your particular area and what you can do before and after such an event occurs.

In addition, make sure you practice your emergency plan; know your evacuation/escape routes; create an emergency supply kit; have a communication plan; and have plenty of water and non-perishable food items. You should have a minimum three-day food supply, water and clothes; seven days is ideal. Some events may be dealt with by staying put, while others may require leaving the area.

I was among approximately 20 Russett residents, including Tim and Nancy Mical along with their children, Claire and Eric; Janice Butler; and Kathleen Stewart, who learned a lot at the seminar.


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Web resources, such as the National Organization on Disability, http://www.nod.org American Red Cross Registry, http://www.safeandwell.org and Federal Emergency Management Agency, http://www.ready.gov were suggested reads. For more information, contact Cassie Johnson at thekeepbuilder@yahoo.com.

Russett celebrated the holidays with its Breakfast With Santa on Dec.1 and 2. Sounds of the season were piped throughout the festively decorated community center while exuberant children and parents awaited Santa's arrival. Pictures were taken with Santa and each child received a stocking filled with toys and goodies.

Longtime residents Jeff and Teresa Favero and their son, Jake, enjoyed the festivities as did Aliya and her sister, Eliana Painter, along with their mom, Trisha Jones-Painter. Mila Juico and her daughter Sophia, as well as Jesse Malhotra and his mom, Angela Lauria, enjoyed the arts and crafts while socializing with one another.

A big Russett thank you goes out to all the participants, volunteers and staff for making this another successful, sold-out, two-day event.