LEXINGTON, KY. (August 30, 2021) – Lexington, Kentucky, is launching its National Preparedness Month campaign for September, as part of a nationwide effort, with the theme, “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.” The goal is to remind residents to take personal action “now” to prepare throughout the year for any emergency that may arise.
“Everyone experiences an emergency now and then,” said Patricia Dugger, Lexington’s Emergency Management Director. “Preparing for emergencies keeps those events from becoming large disasters. When you include all family members in your planning process, everyone can participate when it’s time to take action. We want people to be prepared – not afraid to take action and help themselves and people around them.”
Lexington residents will see and hear reminders about being prepared for emergencies throughout the community. Messaging will include information on billboards, websites, social media, and local radio stations.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency leads national Preparedness Month. The effort is part of a Department of Homeland Security effort to strengthen the United States’ preparedness capabilities.
Each week in September will have a specific theme and point of emphasis.
- Make A Plan – August 30 – September 4
Take the time to start planning for disasters ahead of time. It’s always a good idea to take the time to make plans for various forms of emergencies. There are many kinds of disasters and emergencies to prepare for. These include weather-related issues like tropical storms, floods, ice, extreme heat, and events involving chemical exposure or financial crises. It’s always a good idea to try and have money set aside for a rainy day.Another important aspect is to have some emergency contacts on hand. You need to know who you can call or text for help, and that should include people both in and out of your immediate area. An in-town and out-of-town emergency contact can be vital if you have limited ability to communicate. One call or text to your emergency contact can let others know that you’re OK.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, many basic things have changed in everyday life. Therefore, it’s essential to take the coronavirus into account when designing or revising your emergency plan to account for restrictions and requirements.
- Build A Kit – September 5 – 11An excellent concrete way to prepare for an emergency is to put together an emergency kit in case something goes wrong. An individual or family kit can include water, non-perishable food, a first aid kit, basic tools, a flashlight, and extra batteries in a sturdy, easily carried container. It’s good to know what disasters are likely in your area to know what to pack. Your kit should be suitable for several situations, from temporary power outages to evacuations.As you build your kit, take the time to back up or copy important photos, documents, and records to store them somewhere watertight and fire-resistant.
Your home is not the only place that should have an emergency kit. It’s also good to have an emergency kit in your car. You can use your kit for minor vehicle repairs, or it can make waiting for help more comfortable. A vehicle kit should include basic tools, a flashlight, batteries, cell phone charter, gloves, snacks, and water. Add other items you think are necessary.
- Prepare for Disasters – September 12-18
An important part of staying safe is to prepare for the worst. Take the time to find out what hazards are most likely to happen in your area so that you can know what to prepare for. Check out your home’s risk of flooding, wildfire damage, earthquakes, and other natural and man-made emergencies. An important way to protect yourself is to see if you have enough insurance and the right kinds of insurance on your home.There are also general risks that you can learn to protect your family and your home against, such as kitchen fires, water and gas leaks. Ensure your car is well maintained so that brakes, lights, wipers, and other essential systems work correctly.
- Teach Youth About Preparedness – September 19 – 25
Children are the future, so it’s a good idea to prepare them for the future early. First, take the time to help them understand the emergency plan. Then, prepare a kit for them with water, toiletries, extra clothes, and toys without batteries. That way, they are occupied during an emergency and become accustomed to preparing.Older children should be a part of the discussion when making your family’s emergency plan, as they may have helpful ideas about how to stay safe or what needs to be brought. Make sure they understand how to be prepared before they go off on their own. Maybe even put together an emergency kit for kids that can drive so you know they’re safe.
Lexington Emergency Management has many ways for residents to connect with agency emergency and preparedness information. For example, the LEXALERTS service allows residents to register their cell phone, home phone, and email to receive alerts about community emergencies, severe weather events, and other situations such as shelter-in-place or evacuation orders.
The BeReadyLexington mobile app gives Android and iPhone users access to the latest preparedness and emergency notifications. More information about these services is available from the BeReadyLexington.com website. Preparedness information is also available via the Lexington Emergency Management Facebook page: @LexingtonKYEM and the Division of Emergency Management Twitter account: @Lexkyem.