The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), is reminding the public that households, businesses and communities can increase their preparedness by following this year’s theme of Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today during September – National Preparedness Month (NPM).
“The many challenges we’ve experienced in 2020 should remind every Kentuckian of the need to prepare for unexpected crises – within our own families and with our larger community, as Team Kentucky,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “In February, we had catastrophic flooding in eastern Kentucky. In March, our neighbors in Tennessee faced devastating and deadly tornadoes. Now, we’re all facing the COVID-19 pandemic. Talk to your kids and family about what to do and where to go in different emergencies, because that conversation could save their lives.”
The Governor emphasized the importance of taking COVID-19 precautions into account when developing preparedness plans. For example, keep extra masks in homes, offices and vehicles just like you might store non-perishable food and bottled water or a first aid kit.
This nationwide effort is organized each year by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to encourage citizens to prepare and plan for emergencies in their homes, business and schools. This yearly observance was founded after 9/11 to increase preparedness awareness in the U.S., a fitting time to join the effort to help communities prepare for emergencies, such as natural disasters and potential terrorist threats, and to encourage individuals to take action.
“Emergencies and disasters can happen anytime and anywhere, often without notice and can leave us scared and confused,” said Robbie Hume, Preparedness Branch Manager at DPH. “By taking the time to follow the four weekly steps outlined below, we all can better prepare ourselves and our communities should emergencies or disasters strike. Remember that preparedness is a shared responsibility - it takes a whole community to prepare and respond to emergencies.”
The 2020 NPM theme of Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today is divided up into the following four action steps to focus on for each week during September:
•Week 1: Sept. 1-5 Make A Plan
- Know how to prepare for disasters that include how you will communicate with family and friends during disasters, reviewing insurance papers and much more.
•Week 2: Sept. 6-12 Build A Kit
- You’ll need items to survive during a disaster that includes supplies for use at home as well as a Go Kit of items you may need if you must evacuate quickly to a safer location.
•Week 3: Sept. 13-19 Prepare For Disasters
- Find out the best way to limit impacts a disaster may have, like selecting the right insurance coverage or what can you do to your home to make it stronger and more resilient.
•Week 4: Sept. 20-26 Teach Youth About Preparedness
- Take the time now and talk with your children to reassure them and teach lessons on preparedness. Make family preparedness a fun annual event.
For more information about learning more about each week and preparing for and responding to emergencies, visit http://www.ready.gov.