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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

National Preparedness Month - September 2011

September is National Preparedness Month, as well as marking the 10-year anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks this weekend. Preparedness is a responsibility for the whole community where ever you may live. Individuals, businesses, community organizations, faith-based groups, and state, local and tribal governments should focus this month on preparing for all types of emergencies and disasters.

The National Preparedness Month campaign theme for 2011 is "A Time to Remember. A Time to Prepare." The purpose of this awareness of being prepared is to encourage all Americans to take the necessary steps to ensure that their homes, workplaces and communities are prepared for disasters and emergencies.

With earthquake, tropical storm, hurricanes, tornado, and wildfires taking place this last week, as well as currently, and looming on the horizon we all need to know what to do to take the time in preparing for these disasters be they natural or manmade. Everyone is encouraged to take action in making sure your family, neighborhood and community are ready for emergencies and disasters of all types.

Preparing can start with three important steps:

1. Get an emergency supply kit
2. Make a plan for what to do in an emergency
3. Be informed about emergencies that could happen in your community, and identify sources of information in your community that will be helpful before, during and after an emergency

Put together an emergency supply kit. After a major disaster (whether tornadoes/high winds, flooding, major wildfires, or hazmat emergencies), there is often a disruption of normal services. This includes electricity, telephones, and sewer systems, as well as the ability to obtain fresh food and drinking water. Experts recommend that every citizen should have a disaster supply kit on hand, well-stocked enough to allow them to be self-sufficient for at least three days. Disaster kits should be stored in a waterproof container in an easily accessible location.

Some recommended kit items from include:

Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation

Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both

First aid kit

Whistle to signal for help

Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter- in-place

Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)

Local maps

Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Prescription medications and glasses

Infant formula and diapers

Pet food and extra water for your pet

Cash or traveler's checks and change

Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; Th is is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

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