Family fun day to focus on emergency planning

Charlie MegginsonCulture, Headlines

Delaware Emergency Preparedness

Delaware Emergency Management Agency will host a family fun day to help you prepare for the next unknown crisis. (DEMA)

By the time disaster strikes, it’s too late to prepare.

That’s why the Delaware Emergency Management Agency plans to bring the community together to learn how to be ready for the unknown. 

However grim the premise, DEMA promises a fun-filled and adventure-packed day for the entire family. 

On Saturday, Sept. 17, from 10 a.m. til 2 p.m., the agency will host the 16th Annual Family Emergency Preparedness Day at Brecknock County Park in Camden, located at 80 Old Camden Road.

In the event of inclement weather, the event will be held Sunday, Sept. 18. (That’s good preparation for you.)

“Studies show that people who are prepared fare much better during emergencies,” said John Peterson, DEMA’s community relations coordinator. “Whether they’ve made a plan, built a kit or found a way to stay informed, those people suffer less financial, emotional and physical impact from a storm or severe emergency.”

The event will be the agency’s first since the pandemic, and Peterson said they hope to bring it back better than ever.

More than 30 agencies and community organizations will be present, including Smokey the Bear and Sparky the Fire Dog. A complete list appears at the bottom of this story.

Exhibitors will offer interactive activities, games, promotional items, and safety-themed giveaways. 

Kids can join emergency kit relay races and take part in a preparedness and safety scavenger hunt.

There’s an incentive to arrive early: the first 500 people who complete an activity challenge will earn a free water ice from Kona Ice.

The event is free to the public with free onsite parking.

This year’s focus is “What’s in your kit?” A wide range of agencies and exhibitors will offer resources and information to enhance emergency planning and preparedness in a fun, family environment geared to all ages.

The event is co-sponsored by the Delaware Citizen Corps, Kent County Parks and Recreation, Kent County Department of Public Safety, Delaware Division of Public Health’s Office of Preparedness and DEMA.

The fair comes in the midst of Emergency Preparedness Month.

Sept. 1 marked the halfway point of the Atlantic hurricane season, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is maintaining its forecast for an above-normal year in 2022. Preparedness is key during the peak months ahead, according to DEMA.

NOAA’s 2022 forecast calls for 14-20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater), of which 6-10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater). Of those, 3-5 could become major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or greater).

So far, 2022 has had five named storms and two hurricanes (Danielle and Earl) in the Atlantic. An average hurricane season has 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.

Directions: Google Maps | Apple Maps | Waze

Exhibitors include:

  • Bayhealth Healthcare – Injury Prevention
  • Beebe Healthcare – Injury Prevention, Water Safety, and Bike Helmet Display
  • Camden-Wyoming Fire Company – Fire Trucks and Vehicle Extraction Demo
  • Chesapeake Utilities – Fire Demo Trailer
  • Delaware Behavioral and Emotional Support Team (DE BEST)
  • Delaware Division of Public Health – Office of Women’s Health
  • Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT)
  • Delaware Forest Service – Wildfire Prevention and Smokey Bear
  • Delaware Office of Highway Safety – Seat Belt Safety Check
  • Delaware State Fire School – Fire Safety and Sparky the Fire Dog
  • Delaware State Police Helicopter
  • Delaware Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (DEVOAD)
  • Dover Air Force Base – Safety Trailer
  • DSHS Division of Alcohol & Tobacco Enforcement – Impaired/Distracted Driver Simulator
  • First State Military Academy Cadets – Volunteers
  • Impact Life – Recovery Organization
  • Kent County ARES/RACES – Amateur Radio Emergency Service
  • Kent County Department of Public Safety – Hands-on CPR Training
  • Kent County Paramedics
  • Paws for People – Dogs
  • PNC Bank
  • Poison Control Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (Delaware Center)
  • RespondDE (Medical Reserve Corps)
  • St. Francis EMS
  • State Council for Persons with Disabilities
  • Sussex Vet Center
  • University of Delaware – Center for Disabilities Studies

Food Vendors:

  • Kona Ice – Dessert Truck
  • Stix Chicken – Food Truck

To learn more about emergency preparedness, visit

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