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September designated Preparedness Month in Kentucky

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In conjunction with National Preparedness Month, September has been designated as Commonwealth of Kentucky Preparedness Month. If the lights go out, are you prepared? Local and state officials encourage everyone to be prepared in case of an emergency.

“Kentuckians face many challenges throughout the year, from tornadoes, flooding, winter storms to man-made hazards,” said Ronnie McCane, Trimble County Emergency Management Director. “Every household should be prepared to face these challenges at any given time.”

“Although state and local governments are expected to assist the public during times of emergencies and disasters, preparedness starts at home. In the event of large-scale disasters, the government may be unable to respond immediately,” said John Heltzel, director of Kentucky Emergency Management. He continued, “The severe storms and tornadoes that swept through Kentucky earlier this spring and other disasters have taught us many valuable lessons which we learned from. One of the most important is the value of self preparedness.”

Be prepared! You should have a three-day supply of food and water for each member of your family, along with essentials such as: medicines, flashlights, radio, extra batteries, matches, candles, first aid supplies, etc. Should a catastrophic event occur, officials are now encouraging citizens to have a five-day supply.

Something as simple as having a flashlight, radio and extra batteries available, should there be a power outage, can make you and your family more comfortable during these times.

Along with an emergency kit you should have an emergency plan.

PLANNING FOR DISASTER:

“Be Aware - Be Prepared - Have a Plan - Make a Kit”

Be Aware:

• Know in advance your weather forecasts.

• Stay tuned to your local broadcasting stations.

• Discuss conditions with family members and know their location during times of known potentially-threatening conditions.

Be Prepared:

• Discuss your plan with family members and neighbors.

• Review your plan periodically for necessary updates.

• Refresh your emergency kit(s) periodically.

• Drill: practice your plan with household members.

Have a plan:

• UTILITIES: Written instructions for how to turn off electricity, gas and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you’ll need a professional to turn them back on.)

• SHELTER: Identify safe locations within your residence.

• CONTACTS: Written contact information should include: relatives, neighbors, utility companies, employers (employees) and local emergency contact telephone numbers.

• EVACUATE: Predetermine evacuation routes. Identify where you could go if told to evacuate.
Choose several places ... a friend or relative’s home in another town, a motel or shelter.

• Children: Make back-up plans for children in case you (or they) can’t get home in an emergency

• Vehicles: Keep jumper cables in vehicle at all times.

Maintain a half tank of fuel in vehicles.

Move vehicles from under trees during possible wind events.

Keep an “Emergency Go Kit” in the vehicle.

During winter months, keep a blanket and bag of kitty litter in the trunk.

• Medications: prepare a list of all prescription drugs.

* Share your plan with others. It is recommended to include sharing it with contacts in another region or even another state.

Make a kit:

• First aid kit and essential medications (to include prescription meds).

• Canned food and can opener.

• At least three gallons of water per person.

• Protective clothing, rainwear and bedding or sleeping bags.

• Battery-powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries.

• Waterproof matches and candles.

• Local phone book and copies of insurance policies (sealed in water proof bags).

• Special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members.

• Extra set of car keys.

For additional information please visit www.ready.gov, Kentucky Emergency Management’s website at www.kyem.ky.gov.or mccanetcem@aol.com or contact your local emergency management director at 502-255-4281.