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Disaster Preparedness

Sonoma County Supervisors Declare September as National Preparedness Month

Aug 29, 2018

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The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors declared that September is National Preparedness Month. The preparedness campaign provides an opportunity for all of us to ready ourselves and our families now and throughout the year for potential emergency situations.

According to the website Ready.gov the focus of the 2018 National Preparedness Month is:

Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.

“Often, as mothers, fathers, and neighbors, we are the first ones to take action after a disaster strikes and before first responders arrive. Take one hour this evening to make a kit or develop your emergency plan,” shared Supervisor James Gore. “Practicing your emergency plan ensures you’ll know what to do when disaster strikes, and we’re no different. That’s why, on September 10th and 12th, we’ll test our County’s alert and warning systems.”

Many emergencies happen without warning, so it is important that you take steps ahead of time to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy. One important way you can prepare is by having a kit ready in case you do not have access to food, water, or electricity for several days after a disaster. In addition to building a kit, talk to your loved ones about an emergency plan with the steps you all will take in different types of emergencies and how you will contact one another. Finally, stay informed to make sure you get the information you need when an emergency happens, especially the types of emergencies that might happen in your area.

Preparing does not stop after you have your kit ready and your emergency plan in place. In a real emergency, you may become overwhelmed or confused, so it is important to practice your emergency plan – review the plans and have practice drills with your whole family. Review and replace the contents of your emergency kit every six months. Be sure to check expiration dates on food, water, medicine, and batteries and add any personal items that are unique to your needs. Talk to friends and family about taking steps to get prepared. 

Take time to learn life-saving skills− such as CPR and first aid, check your insurance policies and coverage for the hazards you may face, such as flood, fires, earthquakes. Make sure to consider the costs associated with disasters and save for an emergency. Also, know how to take practical safety steps like shutting off water and gas.

Throughout National Preparedness Month, FEMA encourages everyone to install and become more familiar with the FEMA App.  The App allows users to receive weather alerts for up to five different areas, offers an emergency preparedness checklist, and provides safety tips for numerous emergency situations.  In addition apps such as SoCoAlert and Nixle provide information from local emergency management and first responders.

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