Sidney Police Department encourages preparedness

By William Balling - Guest Columnist

Sidney Police Department would like to encourage all Shelby County residents to become better prepared in the event of an emergency. Disasters do happen. Being prepared can mean the difference between safely and effectively managing the situation versus being in a state of crisis or panic.

Sidney Police Department is committed to helping residents become better prepared. One item that can make all the difference in an emergency is having a “to go bag.” A go bag is a packed case that you grab on your way out the door, and that will help keep you safe and comfortable in the coming hours and days. Stopping to hunt for your medications or other important needs can cost you critical seconds in an evacuation. Pack a separate go bag for yourself and every member of your household, and keep them stored in the same location. Some basic items for the to go bag are:

Basic electronics

Pack an extra phone charger in case you’re fortunate enough to have electricity, and a portable battery pack in case you’re not. Also stash a long-lasting LED flashlight. Pack a small hand-cranked or battery-operated AM/FM radio (with extra batteries).

Personal needs

While getting ready for a typical day, list every toiletry you use, then buy a travel-size version of each. Pack backup eyeglasses, as well as a first-aid kit, baby wipes and a multipurpose tool with a knife and can opener.


Pack a few days’ worth. Include layers you can add or remove, plus lightweight rain gear and waterproof boots.

Your medications

Pack about three days’ worth of each of your prescriptions, which should last until you can get to a pharmacy that’s open. If you need larger items, such as an oxygen tank, make sure you have a portable version.


Fill a zip-top waterproof bag with photocopies of your birth certificate; driver’s license; Social Security and Medicare cards; power of attorney and will; any marriage, adoption or naturalization certificates; proof of address; insurance, medical and immunization records; and information about your credit and ATM cards.

Food and drink

Bottled water is essential. Granola or energy bars are great because they are small and filling, and they come in a variety of flavors.


In addition to enough money for a few days, include small bills and a roll of quarters. If you need to buy something out of a vending machine, you don’t want to start asking equally desperate strangers for change.

Having the right items pre-packed will save you time in an emergency and can also provide comfort during the difficult hours ahead.

To learn more about how you can be better prepared in the event of an emergency visit:

Sidney Police Department is a member of the Shelby County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). The main emphasis of the LEPC is related to chemical emergency preparedness and response, however, the committee is also involved in other relevant issues of emergency preparation. The Shelby County LEPC is comprised of at least one representative from the following entities: fire, law enforcement, elected official, emergency management, first aid/EMS, health department, environmental, hospital, transportation, community groups, and industry. In addition, three public at large members may be included. For more information on the Shelby County LEPC visit


Chief William Balling

Sidney Police Department

Cheri Drinkwine, EMA Director 937-492-5635

By William Balling

Guest Columnist

The writer is the Sidney Police Chief.

The writer is the Sidney Police Chief.