In recognition of National Preparedness Month in September, the Stark County Association of Realtors (SCAR) is hosting a Safety and Preparedness Expo taking place on Saturday, Sept. 28. This year’s event will be at Champion Event Center in North Canton from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Over 28 local exhibitors will be on hand to share expert advice on how to prepare for a disaster and keep Stark County residents safe in an emergency. Attendees will learn how to create evacuation plans, assemble Go Bags, store foods and medicine safely, and make sure vehicles are ready for a quick escape. Other topics include self-defense, firearm safety, shelter-in-place, avoiding the dangers of opioid dependency, and general safety at home, on the road, or in water. CVS Pharmacy will host a Flu Clinic inside the venue. Anyone choosing to get this year’s flu vaccine can use qualifying health benefits or pay out of pocket. The standard adult vaccine is $39.99 and the senior vaccine (for patients 65 and over) is $69.99.

In addition to the inside vendors, AEP Ohio will have a Line Truck on display in the parking lot and photos can be taken with Louie the Lightening Bug. The Stark County Library Bookmobile will feature free resources available on the topic of disaster preparedness and family safety. Vitalant will be hosting a mobile blood drive for guests who would like to save a life by donating blood. Of course, many local police and fire vehicles will also be outside and first responders will be on hand to answer questions.

From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. there will be a special appearance by Officer Lamar Sharpe of the Canton Police Department. Officer Sharpe will be available to share information about the "Be a Better Me Foundation". "Be a Better Me" is a community mentorship program that provides positive role models for local youth and works to strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve. "Be a Better Me" will be selling 50/50 raffle tickets to benefit the foundation.

Another raffle opportunity will be available at the booth featuring the "Louisville Backpack Program", where guests can learn more about the crisis of hungry children in local communities. Raffle tickets will be sold for a chance to win a four-person Coleman camping tent. Proceeds from the raffle will go to supply the Louisville Backpack Program food pantry.

"We’re really excited to work with these local programs and services to showcase what resources our community has to offer," said SCAR President, Joey Marino. "Safety is an important topic to realtors and this educational event will certainly help people be prepared when it matters the most."

Champion Event Center is located at 340 Mississippi Ave. SE in North Canton. Admission is free and concessions are available for purchase throughout the expo. This is a family friendly event open to the public. For additional information please contact the Stark County Association of Realtors or visit our Facebook page for updates about this exciting event.

The Stark County Association of Realtors welcomes you to visit our website at www.starkrealtors.com for a complete listing of realtors and affiliate members who are sure to meet your professional real estate needs.

If you have any questions or comments on this article, please contact me by email at president@starkrealtors.com.