Are on You!”
The Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) has
launched the "First 72 On You” information campaign to increase emergency
preparedness efforts for Kentuckians and their families during the month of
September, which has been designated National Preparedness Month by the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Though some disasters, like Hurricane Dorian, come
with several days of warning, others strike with little or no warning, such as
tornados, house fires, or industrial chemical spills. In the aftermath of such, families or communities
may be left without safety, security, food or shelter.
And though we have excellent first responders,
they along with the local utility companies are likely to be overwhelmed with
numerous calls and insufficient personnel and resources during these events.
So KDPH is urging everyone to implement plans for
being self-sufficient for at least three days (72 hours) since that is the time frame after a disaster that is critical for survival. Families need to take action and prepare today.
Preparing for emergencies and disasters can start
with four important steps: Be ready with
an emergency supply kit. Develop a
Family Emergency Plan. Be Informed. Get involved.
Be ready with an emergency supply kit – An emergency supply kit should
contain essential items to keep you and your family self-reliant for at least
72 hours without utilities, electricity and water, or without access to a
supermarket or local services. These
items should include:
Water (at least one gallon per person per day)
Food, non-perishable, along with a manual can
First aid kit
Flashlight, with extra batteries
Prescription medicine, and/or medical supplies,
enough for 72 hours, including an extra pair of glasses
Miscellaneous items, including complete change
of clothes, sturdy shoes, blankets, and extra cash
If applicable, special baby necessities, including
formula, baby food, diapers, and wipes
Cell phone, with portable charger, already
Pet/service animal food and supplies
Personal hygiene items, including toilet paper,
and a 5-gallon plastic bucket with a tight lid
Certain tools and supplies, including an
adjustable wrench to turn off gas and/or water, matches (in water-proof
container), plastic sheeting, duct tape, whistle, disposable plates, cups and
Important family documents, including emergency
contacts and insurance information
Entertainment supplies, such as cards, games,
books, and magazines
A detailed list of items to be included in the kit can be found at https://www.ready.gov/kit. Though these can be stored in boxes or
plastic totes, be sure to rotate supplies in and out so they do not exceed
their expiration dates.
Develop a family emergency plan - Families may not be together when
an emergency happens, so a plan is needed to allow them to
determine a meeting place,
establish an out-of-town contact and
gather essential information that would help
them to stay connected in the event of an emergency.
Practice your plan with regular drills and know your local evacuation
routes. If a family member has a
disability, contact your local fire department and/or police station now to
inform them so that this information could be kept by these agencies in case of
an emergency or disaster. For those that
may be blind or visually impaired, predesignate someone to assist them in an emergency
and have a plan in place if evacuation becomes necessary because public
transportation may not be available.
Recent advancements in technology, make it easy now to provide emergency
responders with special health and medical needs of family members prior to any
emergency by means of a "Smart 9-1-1” app. More information about the advantages of this app can be accessed by
going online to the following link: http://www.winchesterky.com/index.aspx?NID=1006.
For more information on writing a family plan, visit https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan.
Be informed - Learn about emergencies that could happen in our area
and identify sources of information in our community that will be helpful
before, during and after an emergency. Also,
find out what emergency plans are in place for the schools and work places of
your family members.
Get involved – Because preparedness is a shared responsibility, it
takes a whole community, including volunteers along with professional
responders, to prepare and respond to emergencies. There are many ways to be involved by
volunteering, and many groups with which to become involved including the
American Red Cross, Clark Regional Medical Center Auxiliary, Clark County
Community Services, and the Clark County Medical Reserve Corps, to mention a
The local Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) unit, which is sponsored by the Clark
County Health Department (CCHD), is made up of individuals with both, medical and
nonmedical, training. These volunteers
contribute their time, skills and expertise throughout the year to assist with
promoting public health initiatives, as well as preparing to respond in times
of community need, such as disasters or disease outbreaks.
Through volunteering, being informed, establishing a family emergency plan,
and creating an emergency supply kit we can reduce our dependency upon
overextended outside resources and ensure our capability to survive the "First
72” hours of an unexpected disaster.
If you have any questions regarding this information, you may contact Jim
Cowan, CCHD Preparedness Coordinator, at email@example.com. And anyone who might be interested in joining
the local MRC unit is encouraged to register online at ky.readyop.com/contact/register/71.