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National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month, and the Iroquois County Public Health Department wants people to prepare and protect themselves and their families through four easy methods.

  1. Make a plan. Sit down with friends and family and figure out how to communicate during a disaster if in case you get separated. Many people no longer memorize phone numbers, so it’s important to write down important contacts. Also, cell phones are not always reliable during a disaster, so have alternate means of communicating with each other as a backup.
  2. Build a kit. Put together some non-perishable food, water, a first-aid kit, and other necessities for your family, including pets, should you need to evacuate your home in a hurry. An extra phone charger, sanitizer, and a blanket are also great items to pack in your kit. Leave the kit by the door or in your car so you can grab it and go.
  3. Assess your risk. For residences and businesses alike, it’s important to periodically reassess the risks and hazards to your property. Insurance is a terrific method for mitigating the financial impact of a disaster. After assessing your risks and hazards, it’s important to have a conversation with your insurance provider to determine what is covered and what is not.
  4. Teach your kids. Disasters happen at all times of the day, and you may or may not be with your kids when it does. Talk to your kids about basic survival lessons, including how to avoid dangerous situations, where to go if a home is no longer safe, and how to communicate together during an emergency. Give them a copy of the family emergency plan to keep with them, and review with them the contents of the emergency kit you’ve built.

These four steps will help residents prepare for the worst. Disasters are not always predictable, and being prepared is the best defense for you and your loved ones. For more information on how to complete these four objectives, visit these free resources at www.ready.gov or www.ready.illinois.gov.