SIDNEY — September is National Preparedness Month and Saturday, Sept. 15, is the National Day of Action.
The Shelby County commissioners have proclaimed September as Shelby County National Preparedness Month and Saturday as a day of action.
The 2018 theme is “Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.”
“Whereas the American Red Cross of the Northern Miami Valley and the Shelby County Emergency Management/Homeland Security Office are working to bring attention of the importance of readying ourselves for disasters, both natural and man-made, we also take this time to extend our sincerest gratitude to first responders, who selflessly run toward danger to keep our communities and its people safe,” the commissioners said in the proclamation.
“The National Day of Action is a great time to focus on one of the many actions you can take to be prepared for an emergency,” said Cheri Drinkwine, director of Shelby County Homeland Security and Emergency Management. “Becoming knowledgeable of life-saving skills, such as CPR and first aid, and taking actions to prepare for emergencies can empower you to help your family, neighbors and community in times of crisis. Knowing what to do and having the resources you need contributes to peace of mind when facing uncertain situations.”
Drinkwine urged people to take time to learn life-saving skills and take actions to protect themselves and their property against disasters and severe weather events. She offered the following suggestions:
• Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, test them monthly and replace them when they are 10 years old.
• Install carbon monoxide and natural gas detectors and test them monthly.
• Know two ways out of every room in your home, in case of a fire. Practice safety drills, evacuating the home. Ensure children know what to do when they hear the smoke, CO or gas alarms.
• Know how to turn off utilities, like the electric, gas and water. Have the proper tools such as pliers or a utilities wrench.
• Be prepared for a power outage by having enough food, water and medicines to last for at least 72 hours. Have emergency supplies in place at home, at work and in the car.
• Whether you need batteries for your remote or flashlight, always make sure you have spare batteries handy in an emergency.
• Getting first aid, CPR and AED training can give you the information and critical skills needed to help in an emergency until emergency personnel arrive. Contact the American Red Cross Northern Miami Valley for available classes, schedules and fees.
• Sign up for local emergency alerts in Shelby County by registering on the Shelby County website or call 937-265-8400. Messages will come via phone, text, email or a combination.
• Know basic home maintenance to protect your family and home. Learn how to mitigate your home against the hazards that can threaten your home.
• Check your insurance coverage and review the Document and Insure Property guide. Floods are the most common and costly natural disaster in the U.S. Most homeowners’ and renters’ insurance does not cover flood damage. Learn more about flood insurance at www.floodsmart.gov. It takes 30 days for most flood insurance policies to go into effect. Don’t wait until it’s too late!
• Snap photos of important documents and personal belongings to help you quickly file a claim after a disaster.
• Make digital copies of important documents and save them on the cloud or a secure cell phone app in case disaster strikes.
• Plan financially for the possibility of disaster. Maintain savings for use in case of an emergency. Keep some cash on hand in case of emergencies.