Three-generation family enjoying walk in park.

by Erin Griffeth, community services coordinator, Cache County Sheriff’s Office

In the news lately there has been a lot of encouragement for Americans to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools and communities.

National Preparedness Month is a part of a governmental effort to strengthen the United States’ preparedness capabilities. The national preparedness architecture encompasses prevention, protection, response and recovery efforts to prepare the United States for all hazards — whether terrorist attack or natural disaster.

As part of this national effort, the Cache County Office of Emergency Management is encouraging the public to become engaged and to take necessary steps to enhance individual, family and community preparedness.

For Preparedness Month 2015, we are encouraging the public to focus on the following unique areas of preparedness:

Family preparedness: Disaster preparedness starts with personal preparedness for you and your family. Each family has unique needs to account for in their preparedness plans. Children, older adults and individuals with medical conditions and physical disabilities all have unique needs during and after disasters. As a family, discuss ways to incorporate unique needs into emergency preparedness to ensure the needs of the entire family are included in preparedness plans.

Neighborhood preparedness: Those closest to you during an emergency are most likely to help you first. Take steps to meet your neighbors and develop emergency preparedness plans with those who live around you, taking into account individuals’ unique needs. Focus on community resilience and preparedness at a neighborhood and community level.

Workplace and school: Whether you are at home, work or your child is in school, it’s important for individuals to know specific threats and hazards in their area, emergency warning signals, possible evacuation routes, family and community gathering points, and the location of possible shelters in the community. Maintain an emergency preparedness kit at home and work. Discuss disaster plans with family
members and coworkers.

National and global: With the ease of air travel, infectious disease scan spread rapidly. National and global health security is an ongoing priority that requires individuals to be aware of their health and safety when traveling at home and abroad. Focus on preparing for public health threats before, during and after travel to protect everyone’s health.

Education through the media: Utilize educational materials available via Federal Emergency Management Agency (online social media, social networks, apps, etc.) to access individual, family and community preparedness resources.