Aug. 26 Safety Expo: educational for all ages

The Madison County Safety Expo offers many hands-on educational activities for children and adults alike.

(Posted Aug. 16, 2017)

By Dedra Cordle, Staff Writer

Visions of a good time do not automatically spring to mind when one thinks of the word “preparation” and yet that is exactly what happens when the two combine at the Madison County Emergency Management Agency’s (EMA) annual Safety Expo.

“This is just a good, fun, family day,” said Debbie Sims, EMA deputy director.

This year’s expo is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 26 rain or shine at the Madison County Fairgrounds in London. Those visiting by car are asked to use the Garfield Avenue entrance.

Established in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the county agency has been hosting a safety expo as a way to bring emergency and disaster preparedness to the forefront of people’s minds. In order to engage the public with a topic that can be both scary and dry, they decided to bring in exciting and educational attractions.

“We have a lot of activities at the expo,” Sims said. “There is always something to learn and something for everyone to enjoy.”

For the past several years, the expo has been visited by animals of the exotic kind thanks to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. According to Sims, they are scheduled to return this year with a variety of creatures to entertain and educate children and adults.

“It’s always a good time when they come out,” she said.

However, one animal that will not be featured at the expo is this year’s mascot—the tiger.

“That would be very cool but it would be a lot of work,” Sims said, laughing.

Another animal to be featured at the event is a therapy dog. This expo will mark the first time a therapy dog has been on the premises as part of an attraction.

“It will be a wandering therapy dog,” Sims said, to spread cuteness and information about how such canines help those in need.

In addition to wild and domesticated animals, the expo will feature COSI Science Spot kiosks, an exhibit on modern and antique emergency vehicles, an archery and pellet gun shooting workshop, and a visit from a MedFlight helicopter around noon.

AEP and Columbia Gas are scheduled to hold demonstrations and hand out information regarding home and outside line safety. Battelle is also scheduled to appear with live demonstrations.

Local agencies will also be on hand to talk about seat belt safety, peer pressure, bullying and mental health.

Face painting, bounce houses and the Friends of the Madison County Parks and Trails bike rodeo also will be at this year’s event.

Admission and food are free.

For more information, call the EMA at (740) 852-4200.

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