February is earthquake preparedness month and Lexington's Division of Emergency Management reminds everyone that the best ways to stay safe during and after an emergency are to plan ahead, assemble an emergency supply kit, stay informed, and keep those in your circle of family and friends informed about where you are.
"While Lexington is not in the immediate vicinity of a known earthquake zone, we have felt tremors here from earthquakes several hundred miles away," said Patricia Dugger, director of the Division of Emergency Management. "We want people to know that even if an earthquake doesn't happen here, Lexington will be affected by a regional event."
Repairing deep plaster cracks in ceilings and foundations, anchoring overhead lighting fixtures to the ceiling, and following local seismic building standards, will help reduce the impact of earthquakes.
Every home should have a working weather alert radio for information on severe weather but also emergency information in case of a disaster.
Every home should have an emergency kit, with the following items:
■ Flashlight and extra batteries
■ Portable battery-operated radio and extra batteries
■ First aid kit and manual
■ Emergency food and water, including a non-electric can opener
■ At least one change of clothes for each family member
■ Blankets or sleeping bags during winter
■ Essential medicines
■ Cash and credit cards
In addition to an emergency kit, it is important to have an emergency plan. In case family members are separated from one another during an earthquake or other emergency — a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school — the plan provides a method for reuniting family members after the disaster.
Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance rather than a local number. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address and telephone number of the family's contact person.
More information about being prepared for emergency situations is available at Lexingtonky.gov/dem. Register for text message severe weather and emergency alerts at Lexingtonky.gov/lean.
Senior citizens, those with disabilities and their caregivers can register with DEM to be included in a special needs registry. This database is used only in case of a local emergency and will be used by local public safety officials to help assist those with special needs. The registry is available at Lexingtonky.gov/snregistration.
A chance for a private meeting with Zenyatta is one of the featured items up for bid at the High Street YMCA's annual silent auction.
The auction is going on through noon Monday. Membership at the Y is not required to bid on silent auction items, which are up for bid in the lobby of the building at 239 East High Street.
Zenyatta, 2010 Horse of the Year and the first female horse to win the Breeders' Cup Classic, is not receiving public visitors and this is being offered as a private, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by Lane's End Farm. The winning bidder will be invited to a visit with Zenyatta at Lane's End and personal pictures will be allowed for a group of four to six people during June or July this summer.
The YMCA's auction features dozens of items, including a Maker's Mark football autographed by University of Kentucky football coach Joker Phillips, Zenyatta's bridle, tickets to a Lexington Opera House event, Keeneland box seats and condo vacation packages.
The silent auction is part of the YMCA of Central Kentucky's annual campaign to raise the funds that allow the Y to offer financial assistance, ensuring that no one is turned away from Y memberships, programs or services due to inability to pay. In 2010, the Y awarded more than $1.2 million in financial assistance while serving more than 60,000 in Central Kentucky via membership and programs designed to strengthen the foundations of the community. In the coming weeks, the North Lexington and Beaumont Centre YMCAs will also hold silent auctions to support the campaign.
'Geek the Library'
The Lexington and Jessamine County public libraries are asking everyone in the community to add a new verb to their vocabulary: geek.
Both libraries are participating in a national campaign called "Geek the Library," designed to make people think about what they are passionate about — what they "geek" — and the ways public libraries support their interests.
Mayor Jim Gray helped kick off the local campaign on Feb. 14 at the Central Library on Main Street.
"Geek the Library" is a campaign funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and administered by OCLC, a nonprofit organization providing library content and services. The Lexington, Jessamine County and Washington County public libraries are the first libraries in Kentucky to participate.
The Lexington Public Library will use its cable channel, Web site and sides of its courier trucks to publicize the campaign. The library also will give out bookmarks and stickers that let library customers share what they "geek," while encouraging them to visit Geekthelibrary.org to share there as well. Special programs on crafts, history, health and other topics that people frequently "geek" also will be offered.
The Jessamine County Public Library is asking elected officials and business leaders to share what they love and will create personalized posters featuring some of the results.