September is national preparedness month

| August 24, 2018

COSHOCTON – This September for National Preparedness Month (NPM), the Ready campaign’s theme is: Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How. Preparedness is important. Everyone can take actions now to plan and prepare for disasters. Being prepared now allows individuals and neighborhoods the knowledge to be sustainable until first responders can arrive.

NPM is designed to raise awareness and to encourage everyone to prepare themselves for emergencies that could impact their homes, their businesses, their schools and communities.

“There is no better time than now to be prepared,” said Sima Merick, Executive Director of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency. “Emergencies and disasters can happen at any time, often without any warning. Knowing what hazards or severe weather events could impact your area; practicing your emergency plans; updating your disaster supply kits – these are just some things everyone can do to be self-sufficient and to enhance community resilience.”

Additional NPM Actions to Prepare Now:

Organize disaster supply kits for your home and vehicles. A supply kit is a collection of basic items your household may need, in the event of an emergency. Most items in a basic kit are inexpensive and easy to find. And you might already have a lot of the items in your home. After a disaster happens, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Your disaster kits should have enough food, water, and other essential items to sustain everyone in your home, including pets, for at least three days.

Take time to learn life-saving skills – actions you can take to prepare for and protect against disasters and severe weather events. Install smoke, carbon monoxide and natural gas detectors, and test them monthly. Know how to turn off utilities, like water and gas. Talk to your landlord or building manager about evacuation routes and fire safety. Know two ways out of your home in case of a fire and practice evacuation plans.

Check your insurance policies and coverage for the hazards that might impact your home or community, such as flooding, tornadoes or home fires.

Consider the costs associated with disasters. Consider saving money in an emergency savings account that could be used in any crisis. Keep a small amount of cash at home in a safe place. Have small bills on hand because ATMs and credit cards may not work after a disaster when you may need to purchase necessary supplies, fuel or food.

“The first step to being prepared is to be informed,” said Rob McMasters, Director of the Coshocton County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. “The CodeRED Emergency Notification System is used to alert citizens about severe weather as well as emergency situations, water emergencies (boil alerts) , or any situation that poses a risk to citizens.”

Citizens can sign up to receive CodeRED messages by visiting and clicking the CodeRED tab at the top of the page.

In coordination with FEMA’s Ready campaign, Coshocton County EMA, Ohio EMA and ReadyOhio encourage households, local emergency management agencies, businesses, schools, and places of worship to Prepare Now and Learn How by participating in NPM’s weekly themes for 2018:

Week 1:  Sept 1-8 – Make and Practice Your Plan

Week 2:  Sept 9-15 – Learn Life-Saving Skills

Week 3:  Sept 16-22 – Check Your Insurance Coverage

Week 4:  Sept 23-29 – Save for an Emergency

Visit ReadyOhio for additional information on National Preparedness Month’s weekly themes. Follow Coshocton County EMA on Facebook and Twitter for additional messages on NPM and emergency preparedness.

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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