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September is National Preparedness Month

By Barbara Fox/Beth Fisher

Frankfort, KY - With Hurricane Florence upsetting infrastructure on the East Coast, Kentucky's Department for Public Health thinks it's a good time to remind residents that every family should have a plan for unexpected occurrences.

The Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), has launched the First 72 On You information campaign during the month of September - National Preparedness Month (NPM), to increase emergency preparedness efforts for Kentuckians and their families.

"Some disasters come with warning and others with little or no warning," said Dr. Jeffrey Howard, DPH commissioner. "In the aftermath, communities can be left without safety, security, food and shelter. We are urging everyone to have a plan for self-sufficiency for at least 72 hours because this is the timeframe after a disaster that is critical to surviving through a serious crisis. Families should prepare today - know your hazards, assemble supplies and practice what to do in case a disaster strikes."

These four steps can help prepare for emergencies and disasters:

  1. Be ready with an emergency supply kit - Build an emergency supply kit that contains essential items to keep you and your family self-reliant for at least 72 hours without utilities, electricity and water or without access to a supermarket or local services. The kit should contain essential items for families to include non-perishable food, water (one gallon per person per day), first aid kit, radio, flashlight, can opener, baby needs, cell phone charger and extra batteries, duct tape, matches, emergency contacts and important papers, personal hygiene items, complete change of clothes, disposable plates, cups and utensils, medicine, extra cash, blankets and pet/service animal supplies. A detailed list of items to be included in the kit can be found at Be sure to rotate supplies so they do not exceed their expiration dates.

  2. Develop a family emergency plan - Families may not be together when an emergency happens so the plan will allow families to develop a meeting place, establish an out-of-town contact and gather essential information that would help them to stay connected in the event of an emergency. Practice your plan with regular drills and know your local evacuation routes. If a family member has a disability, contact your local fire department and/or police station now to inform them so that this information could be kept by these agencies in case of an emergency or disaster. For those that may be blind or visually impaired, predesignate someone to assist in case of emergency and have a plan in place if evacuation becomes necessary because public transportation may not be available during an emergency. For information on writing a plan visit

  3. Be informed - Learn about emergencies that could happen in your area and identify sources of information in your community that will be helpful before, during and after an emergency.

  4. Get involved - Preparedness is a shared responsibility and it takes a whole community to prepare and respond to emergencies. Donate time to a local Medical Reserve Corps unit to contribute skills and expertise throughout the year as well as during times of community need.
Throughout National Preparedness Month, DPH will spotlight preparedness measures for families, seniors and pets on a weekly basis.

This story was posted on 2018-09-14 06:02:48
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