Health dept. urges preparedness

SIDNEY — The Sidney-Shelby County Health Department has announced that area residents should “get ready” during September, which is National Preparedness Month.

Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Preparedness Month is a nationwaide effort encouraging individuals, families, businesses, first responders and communities to work together and take action to prepare for emergencies.

Preparedness is everyone’s responsibility, FEMA said.

“We have to work together as a team to ensure that individuals, families and communities are ready. Individuals are encouraged to make a family emergency paln; put together an emergency supply kit; be prepared to help your neighbor and work as a team to keep everyone safe,” the health department said in a release.

Shelby County Health Commissioner Steven Tostrick said, “Although in Shelby County, we are not subject to hurricanes like what is occurring on the coastal states, disasters can happen at any time, particularly when you least expect it. Fires, tornados, power outages, heat, winter storms, earthquakes and flooding can occur in our area. Therefore, we would like everyone to take time this month to think about their emergency plans, and if they currently don’t have plans, to take action to make some plans. Waiting until there is an emergency is too late. It can put the lives of your family or those you care about in jeopardy. The ‘Ready’ campaign can help get you the information you need to better prepare your family.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 48 percent of people do not have an emergency kit for their homes. Recommended items to include in a kit are one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days for drinking and sanitation; a three-day supply of non-perishable food; a battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA weather radio; a flashlight and batteries; a first aid kit; a whistle to signal for help; a dust mask; moist toilettes; garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation; a wrench or pliers to turn off utilities; a can opener for food and local maps.

For information about the “Ready” campaign and National Preparedness Month, visit or or call 800-BE-READY.

Staff report