September is National Preparedness Month

Do you have an emergency plan? Do you have a preparedness kit? If you answered yes to those, you and your family are up to date on preparing for any event that may arise. If you answered no, now is the time to design one of both of those.

September marks National Preparedness Month across the country and we hope that you are prepared for or at least thinking of being prepared for any need that comes up during a disaster. Being prepared for a disaster can be simple. Just being self-sufficient for at least three days is a start. Having an emergency kit on hand that includes non-perishable food, water, flashlights, battery operated radio, extra batteries, medicines, etc. Keeping these and any necessities you may need are helpful if any event arises. Extra water kept on hand, like mentioned above, can go a long way.

Prior to a disaster, know where you important information and emergency kit is located. Also develop an emergency plan and share with your family. Take photos of your home and contents.

During a disaster, follow local official’s information. Also, unplugging appliances, turning off electricity, and the main water valve may be necessary. If you can stay at home, do so. If you must leave home, let someone outside your disaster area know where you are going and how long you will be there.

After the disaster, check on family, friends and neighbors. Turn your portable radio on and listen for instructions or news reports. Take photos of any damage to your home. Check for any downed power lines, and let the utility company know about it.

For more information about preparing for a disaster, join us for an information session at the Harlan County Extension Depot on Sept. 13. The session will begin at 6 p.m. David McGill, Harlan County Emergency Management director will be our speaker for the event. We’ll have information on how to build and emergency kit, designing an emergency plan for you and your family and other tips to help you prepare for any disaster that may arise.

Jeremy Williams is the Harlan County extension agent for agriculture & natural resources. Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin.