September is National Preparedness Month:
A Time to Remember. A Time to Prepare.
This September, our nation will mark the ten year anniversary of 9/11. McHenry County is participating in National Preparedness Month by remembering those lost, honoring our first responders, and renewing our commitment to prepare and plan for emergencies.
National Preparedness Month (NPM) began after 9/11 to increase preparedness in the U.S. It is a time to prepare yourself and those in your care for an unexpected emergency. We encourage households, businesses and communities to prepare and plan for emergencies - preparedness is everyone’s responsibility. We hope all individuals and communities will turn awareness into action.
Emergencies can happen anytime and anywhere. If you’ve seen the news recently, you know that emergencies can happen unexpectedly in communities and families just like yours. This September, please prepare in the event your family must evacuate your home or go for a few days without electricity, water service, and access to a supermarket or local services. Just follow these three steps: Be Informed. Get a Kit. Make a Plan. Taking these simple steps to becoming prepared, you can make a big different in ensuring your safety and well being during a disaster.
Know the Facts and Be Informed
Learn about the potential emergencies that could happen where you live and the appropriate way to respond to them. Knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count. Free information is available from federal, state and local agencies to assist you. Your local emergency management agency can provide details on specific hazards in your area and local plans for shelter and evacuation. Learn how to get emergency information or alerts before and during an emergency, and how to sign up to receive emergency alerts.
Get a Kit
Keep enough emergency supplies on hand for your family for at least 3 days – water, non-
perishable food, first aid, prescriptions, flashlight, and a battery-powered radio. If you own pets, remember to include their food and supplies in your supply kit. Consider creating a “go-kit”, which you could have ready if you needed to leave your home quickly. Customize each of your kits to fit your family’s needs.You may already have many of the needed supplies around your house and remember that you don’t have to spend a lot of money for an elaborate kit! For more information on emergency kits and a list of suggested items, view the links below
Make a Plan
Once you've thought about what types of disasters might happen, you can get ready to
respond to them. Create an emergency plan with your family and make sure everyone understands what they are to do during an emergency, keep in mind your family may not be together when disaster strikes. Your plan should include communication information and meeting locations. Keep copies of your plan in a safe place and with your emergency kit. The information in your plan may change, so it is a good idea to review it twice a year. You can remember by updating your plan when you change your clocks for daylight savings time.
Planning for your Business
Every business should have an emergency plan – it can save lives and company assets. For businesses, being prepared means planning for how they will survive any type of disaster: backing up critical information, developing a plan for assisting employees on site, establishing a call tree to account for employees, and identifying back-up sources of power and supplies. Learn how to prepare your business by following the links below.
First Responders play a major role in emergency response operations whether preserving lives, protecting property or providing other essential services. It is vital that you and your agency take the steps necessary to prepare and plan. By ensuring that agencies have properly outlined how they will support staff and responders ensuring that their families are safe and protected, full attention, without distractions, can be turned to the life-saving missions that support the community.
Another great way to learn more about emergency preparedness is to get involved. Spread the word to others by educating them about the importance of personal preparedness.
If you are over 18, consider volunteering with the McHenry county
Medical Reserve Corps. This organization is made up of both medical and non-medical members who support the Health Department in disasters and also promote public health initiatives during times of non-emergency. Volunteering with the MRC does not require a huge time commitment and you are a valuable component to the Health Department's emergency response strategy. Visit our Volunteer (MRC) page for more information on the McHenry County Medical Reserve Corps.