September was National Preparedness Month and was a great time to be more personally prepared for all hazards and emergencies that might impact Johnson County. However, as we move into October, there is still time to “Fall Back into Preparedness”. As Fall approaches and the leaves change, so can our personal and family preparedness. Individuals and families as well as businesses should consider the three basic steps of preparedness: (1) Make a Kit, (2) Have a Plan, and (3) Stay Informed as well as updating batteries this time of year.
Making a kit is the first step and is often the easiest. Personal preparedness kits contain enough food, water, and supplies for individuals and/or their family to be self-reliant for up to three days. This is critical to ensure that during a disaster the limited number of first responders can go to the aid of those critically in need. The kit should contain basic foods that have a long shelf-life and are easy to eat (ex: pop-top cans). The guideline for water is three gallons of water for each person. The kit should also contain basic first aid items, flashlights, and blanket, which most people already have in different parts of their home.
Like the kit, the plan is relatively straightforward. It should contain emergency contact information (both local and away from Johnson County), evacuation paths, places to meet if you have to leave your home, and shelter-in-place process just to name a few. This process should also be tested on a routine basis to ensure everyone knows the plan. This plan can be manually created or kept in an automated database like what is available at www.preparemetrokc.org.
Staying informed is the last step to personal preparedness. It is as simple as knowing the hazards that may impact Johnson County as well as trusted sources of information regarding the most current information. Local television and radio media is a critical source, but Johnson County Emergency Management & Homeland Security also provide emergency and disaster information via their website and various social media streams. These sources can be found at www.jocoem.org.
Given that it is time to “Fall Back into Preparedness”, it is also the time of year where changing batteries in smoke detectors, flashlights, and weather radios is critical. Ensuring those systems can be used when needed is vital to personal and family preparedness. Let’s all “Fall Back into Preparedness” together!
For more information on how to “Fall Back into Preparedness”, visit www.jocoem.org.