State and Local Officials Urge Preparedness

preparedness monthIt’s September, and that means it’s Preparedness Month in Indiana and throughout the country.

Officials are urging people to make plans now so they would know what to do if an emergency were to happen. Marshall County EMA Director Clyde Avery says one thing residents need to do is put together an emergency preparedness kit for their homes, “That includes supplies, like bottled water, nonperishable food, flashlights, a portable radio, maybe some extra cash if they have it, that they can have available to use and be able to kind of be on their own for up to a 72-hour period. We also want to make sure that if they have pets, that they’re thinking about whatever their pet needs might be for that period of time, in case the stores and the banks aren’t available for them to gain access to.”

Officials are also asking residents to make a communications plan and designate someone out of state for family and friends to contact if local communications are down.

In addition to raising awareness among local residents, Avery says steps are being taken on a larger scale to help people who live through a disaster, “We’re working with our local volunteer organizations and nonprofit organizations to try and develop a good community organization that could assist in the event that we have a disaster occur and we have people in the community who have been impacted by that disaster and may have some needs that can’t be met by the government organizations.”

He says preparedness is a bigger issue than people may realize, “It’s important for people to take preparedness seriously because, as we well know, we have a lot of different events occur that can impact their daily lives, and so being prepared now will help make that transition when something does happen so that they’re not reliant or dependent on the government coming in and taking care of them.”

For more information and preparedness tips, visit the Indiana Department of Homeland Security’s Get Prepared website.