National Preparedness Month
Throughout September, the Lake Cumberland District Health Department and numerous partner agencies will support emergency preparedness efforts and encourage citizens to take action to become better prepared for disasters and emergency situations.
Make a Plan
In many cases, disasters don’t come with much warning. Having a plan helps us avoid panic and spring into action sooner. Discuss the questions below with your family to start your emergency plan:
- How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
- What is my shelter plan?
- What is my evacuation route?
- What is my family/household communication plan?
- Do I need to update my emergency preparedness kit?
- Check with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and update my emergency plans due to Coronavirus.
- Get masks (for everyone over 2 years old), disinfectants, and check my sheltering plan.
Fill out a Family Emergency Plan like this one:
Build a Kit
After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies to last for several days. A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.
Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below. Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find and any one of them could save your life. Headed to the store? Download a printable version to take with you. Once you take a look at the basic items consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets or seniors.
Basic Disaster Supplies Kit
To assemble your kit store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.
A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
- Water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation)
- Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle (to signal for help)
- Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
- Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
- Manual can opener (for food)
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
- Download the Recommended Supplies List (PDF)
Prepare for Disasters
Know what disasters and hazards could affect your area, how to get emergency alerts, and where you would go if you and your family need to evacuate. Make sure your family has a plan and practices it often.
Teach Youth About Preparedness
Every member of the family can prepare for emergencies. Ready Kids is a great resource for tools and information geared towards kids and teens: https://www.ready.gov/kids
If you are in high school, consider taking First Aid classes through the American Red Cross such as FAST training – First Aid for Severe Trauma. This course offers free guidance to high school students on treating traumatic injuries and controlling bleeding until first responders and medical help arrive. https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/first-aid/first-aid-training/first-aid-classes/fast-training
On a separate note, it is important to point out that Kentucky is one of the unhealthiest states in our nation; but, a few healthy lifestyle choices could change this. First, eating normally proportioned helpings of nutritious foods including at least five fruits and vegetables a day can lower weight and reduce heart disease and diabetes. Second, exercising about 30 minutes per day can lower blood pressure. Third, avoiding the use of tobacco products can reduce several types of cancer. Finally, making sure you get your needed preventive screenings can detect diseases early and greatly increase your chances for a positive health outcomes, while receiving your recommended vaccinations can prevent acquiring disease in the first place.