September is National Preparedness Month.
Frederick, Md (KM)> This is the time of year to review your plans in case of an emergency. September is National Preparedness Month. “And it’s a nationwide effort designed to increase awareness as well as to encourage individuals, families and communities to take action and prepare for emergencies, and to engage in preparedness at home, work businesses, schools and places of worship,” says Dennis Dudley, Frederick County’s Director of Emergency Preparedness.
The month is sponsored by the US Department of Homeland Security, and the theme this year is “Disasters Happen……Prepared Now……Learn How.”
Each of the weeks in September revolved around a theme connected with being prepared for emergencies, says Dudley\
The week of September 1-8 is “Make and Practice Your Plan.”
For the week of September 9-15 is :”Learn Life Saving Skills.”
During September 16-22, it’s “Check Your Coverage.” “If there’s an emergency, before it happens, you should be reviewing your insurance and insuring that you’re properly covered,” says Dudley. “We did have some people who learned this in the recent flooding, unfortunately.”
And the week of September 23-29, it’s “Save For An Emergency.”
Dudley says one of the biggest ways to be prepared for emergencies is to draft a plan so that everyone knows what to do and where to go when disaster strikes. “You should have a communication plan for your family, and 72-hours of supplies,” he says.
In addition, you need an emergency kit. “You should have non-perishable foods for 72-hours, preferably food you don’t have to cook in case there’s no power and no availability to cook the food,” says Dudley. “You should have water, a minimum of one gallon per person per day.”
Other items for your emergency kit should include special needs, especially if you have pets or small children. He says important papers should be included in the kit. “Because during an emergency, you may not access to computers or vital information. Having those important papers put together in one location is very important,” says Dudley.
And make sure you have some cash on hand. “We have learned in many emergencies when the system stops, people rely on credit cards and ATM’s, and those may not be operating during the emergency,” Dudley says.
As part of National Preparedness Week, Frederick County Emergency Responders will conduct a free community preparedness seminar on Saturday, September 15th from 8:00 AM until 1:00 PM at the Public Safety Training Facility, 5370 Public Safety Place, in Frederick, just off of Reichs Ford Road. Dudley says that seminar is filling up fast, and registration will be closed on Friday, September 7th. But a second course will take place on Saturday, October 20th at the Frederick Police Training Facility at 6424 Plant Road in Frederick. Registration for that session will close on Friday, October 12th.
Anyone who wants more information on preparing for emergencies can go on line to www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/READY.
By Kevin McManus