July 21, 2024

September is National Preparedness Month

National Preparedness Month is observed every September, and serves as a time to raise the importance about being prepared for disasters or emergencies that can happen at any time. Each year has a theme, and this year’s is “Take Control in 1, 2, 3.”

According to www.ready.gov, 2023′s theme will focus on, “preparing older adults for disasters, specifically older adults from communities that are disproportionately impacted by the all-hazard events, which continue to threaten the nation. We know older adults can face greater risks when it comes to the multitude of extreme weather events and emergencies we now face, especially if they are living alone, are low-income, have a disability, or live in rural areas.”

Some tips for older adults, which can be found online at www.ready.gov/older-adults,to prepare for emergencies include:

Knowing what disasters could potentially affect your area - what ones might prompt an evacuation or a shelter in place call.

Keep abreast of conditions during severe weather by utilizing an NOAA Weather Radio, monitoring television and radio warnings.

Get weather alerts via the FEMA app on your phone.

Plan ahead for communication needs, food, water, care for animals, transportation and individual needs in the event of an emergency.

Make a plan for any assistance you may require.

People of all ages can benefit from many of the same tips that are given to older adults, including building an emergency kit, having an emergency plan in place, and being aware of hazards during disaster or emergency situations.

Interested persons can sign up for NIXLE by texting 50213 to 888777 for text alerts, or visiting www.nixle.com and setting up an account for email alerts. Another option is to sign up for Alert Iowa by visiting Smart911′s website - https://www.smart911.com/ - and follow the instructions. Both offer information on various types of emergency situations.** Additional information for preparedness can be found at www.ready.gov, on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/IowaHSEMD and on Twitter athttps://twitter.com/IowaHSEMD hash tags #NatlPrep and #ReadyIA.

National Preparedness Month was created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. FEMA sought to educate the public on how to prepare fro and handle emergencies. In Iowa, Preparedness Month is sponsored yearly by the Iowa Emergency Management Association (IEMA) and the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD).

On Aug. 31, President Biden signed a proclamation declaring Sept. 2023 as National Preparedness Month.

Candra Brooks

A native of rural Union County, Candra holds a Bachelor's Degree in English from Simpson College and an Associate's Degree in Accounting from SWCC. She has been at the Osceola newspaper since October 2013, working as office manager before transitioning to the newsroom in spring 2022.