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Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
Blog: Be prepared for emergencies
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By RaeAnn Tucker-Marshall
Oct. 22, 2012 10 a.m.

The Henry & Stark County Health Departments note that this September we

marked the 11th year anniversary of 9/11. Since then, September has been

designated as National Preparedness Month. This event was founded after

9/11 to increase preparedness in the U.S. Betty McNaught, RN Health

Department Emergency Services Director, states, "Now in its ninth year, the

designation is a nationwide, month-long effort that encourages individuals,

families, businesses, and communities to work together and take action to

prepare and plan for emergencies."

This year's effort has a growing coalition of more than 2,700 national,

regional, state, and local organizations pledging support. The goal for

National Emergency Preparedness Month 2012 is to encourage all Americans to

take active steps toward getting involved and becoming prepared.

Preparedness is everyone's responsibility. We have to work together, as a

team, to ensure that individuals, families and communities are ready.

Individuals are encouraged to: make a family emergency plan, put together an

emergency supply kit; be prepared to help your neighbor; and work as a team

to keep everyone safe.

According to the 2009 Citizen Corps National Survey, only 36 percent of

individuals believed there was a high likelihood of a natural disaster to

EVER happen in their community. But disasters happen every day in many

forms - from hurricanes to snowstorms, even localized events such as floods

and power outages.

McNaught notes, "Many people think that it will be easy to grab items

from your pantry if disaster strikes. But what if you aren't at home? What

if you family is separated? What if you have to leave quickly? We

encourage everyone to take a few extra minutes this month to plan for any

emergency."

In addition, all Americans should have some basic supplies on hand in

order to survive for at least three days if an emergency occurs. In order

to promote this point, the Department has put up special Emergency

Preparedness Supply kit displays for the month of September at the Black

Hawk College Community Education Center, Kewanee and the Kewanee and Geneseo

Public Libraries.

The following is a listing of some basic items that every emergency

supply kit should include:

* Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days,

for drinking and sanitation.

* Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

* Battery -powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather radio with tone

alert and extra batteries

* Flashlight and extra batteries

* First aid kit

* Whistle to signal for help

* Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct

tape to shelter-in-place

* Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

* Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

* Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)

* Local maps

* Copies of your prescription (placed in a ziploc bag to keep them dry)

McNaught concludes, "September is National Preparedness Month and a good

reminder that emergencies will happen, but taking action now can help us

minimize the impact they will have on our lives. That's why the Health

Department staff is continually taking steps to become educated, trained,

and better prepared, and we urge you to take time this month to do the

same."

For more information on the Health Department's Emergency Preparedness

Activities or to set up a presentation, simply contact Ms. McNaught at

(309) 852-0197 or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or visit

www.ready.gov. or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health

Department

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