Morgan County EMA

National Preparedness Month

September 2012 was the 9th Annual National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the US Department of Homeland Security. The theme was “Pledge to Prepare”. In the last 3 years there have been 8 presidentially declared disasters in the state of Tennessee.

James Bassham, Director of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, emphasizes the need for every individual, every family and every home to have at least a basic preparedness kit ready in case of emergencies. This annual reminder is a good time for families to put together an emergency plan. Does your family have a family emergency plan? Do you know if your place of work has a plan? If your family currently has a plan a yearly review is suggested to make sure contact information is still current.

Do you know what to do in times of emergency – whether it be a large emergency as our tornado in 2002– or on a smaller scale. What would your family do if your power is out in the winter for several hours or even several days? Do you have a back-up power source to stay warm – generator, fireplace? Do you have a plan for when an event happens and your family is not all in one location? Do you have extra supplies on hand of medication in case you can’t get to the pharmacy for a few days? These are just a few of the questions you should consider when putting together a plan for your home and your family.

Get an Emergency Kit

If disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water, or electricity for some time. By taking time now to prepare emergency water supplies, food supplies and a disaster supplies kit, you can provide for your entire family.

Build a Kit

A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.

If you don’t know what you need for a basic kit, you can download TEMA’s ReadyTN smartphone application or go online and find plenty of resources about the essentials for a kit.

You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days.

Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.

Make an Emergency Plan

Make plans with your family and friends in case you’re not together during an emergency. Discuss how you’ll contact each other, where you’ll meet, and what you’ll do in different situations. Read how to develop a family disaster plan or fill out the Homeland Security Family Emergency Plan.

Be Informed

Being prepared means staying informed. Check all types of media – Web sites, newspapers, radio, TV, mobile and land phones – for global, national and local information. During an emergency, your local Emergency Management office will give you information on such things as open shelters and evacuation orders.

Get Involved

Look into taking first aid and emergency response training, participating in community exercises, and volunteering to support local first responders.

The book It’s a Disaster and What Are You Going to Do about it – covers all this & more. It will help you put together an emergency plan and a disaster kit. The book is FREE and available during normal business hours at the Morgan County Executive’s Office and at the Morgan County EMA office – located at the Morgan County 911 Center.