Group works to ensure area residents are prepared for disaster, response

David Phelps reviews the contents of his own portable emergency kit, which he keeps in his truck at all times in case he needs to help respond to a disaster. Phelps is a member of Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD), a group which is trying to help prepare an organized volunteer force to respond to potential disasters in the area.

David Phelps reviews the contents of his own portable emergency kit, which he keeps in his truck at all times in case he needs to help respond to a disaster. Phelps is a member of Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD), a group which is trying to help prepare an organized volunteer force to respond to potential disasters in the area. Photo by Katherine Cummins.

It may sound dramatic, but in an emergency situation, being prepared can mean the difference between life and death.

A group of Callaway County residents are making it their mission to ensure area residents are prepared in case of a disaster such as the string of deadly tornadoes that have struck across the United States in recent months. Fulton resident Doris Handy, who spent 20 years working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency — and is returning to that organization to lend her expertise this summer — has a goal of helping every Callaway household to have an emergency preparedness kit.

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