It sometimes seems like we here in Louisville have more than our share of natural disasters. The beautiful Ohio River has a habit of jumping its banks every couple of years, and we’ve experienced some nasty tornadoes in recent memory. We’re even located just East of the New Madrid Fault; so we can expect the odd earthquake from time to time.
Now would be a good time—while the weather is so clement it almost makes you want to live here—to check about the house, just to make sure you are ready for the next disaster or power outage. As the Boy Scouts remind us: Be prepared!
And we want to remind readers that September is National Preparedness Month, and in conjunction therewith (we know we write like a lawyer, but we can’t help it), Kentucky’s Governor Steve Beshear has proclaimed this month as “Commonwealth of Kentucky Preparedness Month.”
“Kentuckians face many challenges throughout the year – tornadoes, flooding, winter storms and man-made hazards,” Gov. Beshear said. “During my term alone, Kentucky has experienced 10 presidentially declared major disasters. Every household should be prepared to face emergencies at any given time, which is why my administration is raising awareness and proclaiming September ‘Preparedness Month.’”
The Kentucky Office of Homeland Security and Kentucky Emergency Management are asking all Kentuckians to develop a plan throughout the month. Key points the agencies stress are:
Be aware. Familiarize yourself with the risks to you, your family and community. The more you know, the better you can identify and prepare to reduce those risks.
Be prepared. You should have a three-day supply of food and water for each member of your family, along with essentials such as: medicines, flashlights, radio, extra batteries, matches, candles and first aid supplies. Should a catastrophic event occur, officials are now encouraging citizens to have a five-day emergency supply.
Have a plan. Every home, every business and every organization should have an emergency plan for situations such as power outages, evacuations, and severe weather.
Make an emergency kit. Something as simple as having a flashlight, radio and extra batteries available during a power outage can make you and your family more comfortable during these times.
“Although state and local governments are ready to assist the public during times of emergencies and disasters, preparedness starts at home. In the event of large scale disasters, it may take time to respond immediately,” said John Heltzel, director of Kentucky Emergency Management. “The January ice storm of 2009 and more recent disasters have taught us many valuable lessons. One of the most important is the value of individual and family preparedness.”
“We urge Kentuckians to be prepared for manmade and natural disasters,” said Gene Kiser, KOHS acting executive director. “It is vitally important to have an emergency plan and kit to deal with unforeseen events that can disrupt daily lives.”
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