Does your family have an emergency communication plan? This September, in observance of National Preparedness Month, South Heartland District Health Department (SHDHD) staff are reminding residents of Adams, Clay, Nuckolls and Webster Counties to take action to prepare, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and also where we visit.
Jim Morgan, SHDHD’s public health risk coordinator says that every family should have an Emergency Communication Plan. Templates are available on the Ready.gov website, with one for adults and one for kids.
“The adult plan will help you identify and write down information that could be important during an emergency, such as out-of-town contacts, neighborhood and regional meeting places, work and school information, family information, medical contacts and insurance information,” Morgan said. “This information should be kept in safe places where it can be located quickly during an emergency, such as your purse, wallet or briefcase, your car, your office and your disaster kit.”
The kid’s emergency communication plan template provides spaces to record home and parent phone numbers as well as names and contact information for siblings, neighbors, and even out of state friends/relatives. Morgan says that this plan also includes a place to add maps on how to get to your designated meeting places and the exits in your home.
“Make sure your children have a copy of this information with them – perhaps in a back pack or notebook – so that they, or adults who may be assisting them, have what they need to get connected to their families,” Morgan said. He also suggests that important contact information can be stored in children’s cell phones, if they have them.
National Preparedness Month focuses on different preparedness activities each week during September. You can log on to Ready.gov to learn more about making an emergency communication plan, preparing your community through service in local community readiness organizations, or making an individual preparedness kit. Mr. Morgan encourages residents to contact South Heartland District Health Department for tools and assistance with any of these preparedness activities.
“We hope that residents will also help their friends and neighbors prepare and will spread the word about their emergency preparedness activities,” said Morgan. He recommended that South Heartland area residents can be counted along with the millions of Americans who are adding their family and community preparedness activities to the American’s PrepareAthon! website: www.ready.gov/prepare #PrepareAthon.