Cavalier County Emergency Management celebrates preparedness

Across the nation, September is known as National Preparedness Month.

Preparedness

Posted on 9/3/16

By Melissa Anderson

It began on Thursday, September 1, and this year’s theme is “Don’t Wait. Communicate”.

“Planning is important in many ways,” Karen Kempert, Director of Emergency Management for Cavalier County,  said, “You can begin your plan by simply sitting down together and playing ‘what if’.”

Kempert goes on to explain that the “what if” could be if the house was on fire and then develop a plan on where you and other members of your family would meet up in that scenario. Another example of  “what if” is if there was a tornado.  Putting a plan in place for your family to be able to communicate in that event so everyone knows where to check-in and how to reach each other.

“Whether you are a family or a business, it is important to plan for what is going to get you back on your feet,” Kempert stressed.

Preparing yourself and your family for all types of emergencies is very important. Preparedness helps you to increase a personal sense of security and peace of mind and gives you the knowledge that you will be ready in case of an emergency.

Throughout the month there will be multiple posts on social media and websites regarding planning for preparedness. Take an evening to plan with your family to be safe and connected in an emergency.

Man–made and natural disasters can happen at any time, to anyone, making it a good idea to plan ahead. In major disasters, help is often unable to get to you right away. The recommendation is to have a 3 day supply of food, water, and other essentials together before an emergency or disaster happens.

In Cavalier County citizens are vulnerable to several natural disasters so it’s a good idea to plan ahead and have a kit. A good emergency kit should include:

• Food- A three day supply of non-perishable items

• Water- A good formula to follow is one gallon per day per person

• NOAA weather radio and battery powered, hand crank radio

• First Aid Kit

• Flashlight and batteries

• Garbage bags, ties and a pail for personal sanitation

• Can opener

• Medicine

• Cash

• Infant supplies- if applicable

• Pet Supplies- if applicable

• Blankets and clothes

• Matches

• Plates, cups, utensils, paper towels

• Games, books, etc. for yourself and children

Kempert recommends that these items all be stored in plastic tubs, checking and rotating the supplies as necessary so things don’t become stale or damaged in the event you really need them.

“Know the plan at your workplace, school and daycare center,” Kempert said, “Remember you may not all be together when an emergency happens.”

Once emergency plans have been developed, the next step is to practice it. Emergency management professionals recommend a twice per year run-through followed by everyone who participated sitting down to discuss what worked and didn’t work. If something didn’t go as smoothly as it could have, find ways to adapt the plan according to lessons learned during the practice.

It isn’t just homes and families that should have emergency plans but businesses as well. Businesses are also vulnerable to disasters.

“The best way to ensure that your business, whether it be a for profit or non-profit can function as soon as possible following a disaster is to have a well thought out and practiced plan,” Kempert stated.

The first step to do this is to identify where you are most vulnerable, both internally and externally. Make sure that you include threats to data and security systems.

After identifying what you are vulnerable to, create a plan that addresses any of the threats that you found. This should include contingency plans for all of the essential elements of your business. Your plan should certainly include a resource management portion along with a crisis communications plan and an outline of individual personnel responsibilities.

Additionally, it’s important to identify that you have more than adequate insurance. Many of the businesses that were impacted by recent disasters such as Hurricane Sandy did not have adequate insurance and are still suffering.

Look to cavaliercountyem.com/prepare or Ready.gov for more ideas and follow Cavalier County Emergency Management on Facebook for tips every day.

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