OSWEGO COUNTY – “Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.”
That’s this year’s theme for “September is National Preparedness Month,” coordinated by the federal Department of Homeland Security and Ready.gov.
Local officials are joining state and federal emergency management personnel in reminding families, communities and work places to take action in preparation for natural or manmade disasters.
The annual campaign emphasizes preparedness for youth, older adults, people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.
“If a disaster strikes our communities, you might not have access to food, water, or electricity for some time,” Oswego County Emergency Management Director Dale A. Currier said. “You may have to survive on your own for a few days or weeks. Making an emergency plan now for your family will help you cope with an emergency.”
Oswego County has experienced severe thunderstorms, ice storms, record snowfalls, and extended power outages in the last 15 years.
“While our communities are resilient and have recovered from those events, having enough non-perishable food and water on hand can help families when the roads are impassible or power can’t be restored quickly,” Currier said.
“Being well prepared will help you to be self-reliant for at least three days – or even a week – without utilities and electricity, water service, access to a supermarket or local services, and perhaps without response from police, fire or rescue,” he added.
Preparation can start with four important steps:
• Be informed about emergencies that could happen in your community, and identify sources of information in your community that will be helpful before, during and after an emergency;
• Make a plan for what to do in an emergency and share it with everyone in your family;
• Build an emergency supply kit that includes non-perishable food, water, and other supplies your family will need. Find a list at www.ready.gov/build-a-kit
• Get involved.
“Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to think about the following situations and plan just in case,” Currier said.
People should consider the following questions when making a plan:
• How will my family/household get emergency alerts and warnings?
• How will my family/household get to safe locations for large emergencies?
• How will my family/household get in touch if cell phone, internet, or landline services don’t work?
• How will I let loved ones know I am safe?
• How will family/household get to a meeting place after the emergency?
Currier encouraged people to visit www.ready.gov/september for more information on how to create a plan and put together a disaster supplies kit for their families.
The Oswego County Emergency Management Office also offers brochures on family disaster planning, hazardous weather such as winter storms, thunderstorms and tornadoes, and other information.
Copies are available by calling the Emergency Management Office at 315-591-9150.
The information is also posted on the Oswego County website at www.oswegocounty.com/emo.