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September is National Emergency Preparedness Month; Take Advantage of Local Preparedness Classes and Sign Up for Alert Montgomery

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS) reminds residents that September is National Preparedness Month (NPM). The 2017 theme is “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.” In recognition of the importance of planning for emergencies, OEMHS is conducting and supporting many events during the month to help communities prepare for disasters. A listing of those events is available at: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/oemhs/. Check back frequently as events may be added throughout the month.

Follow both the Montgomery County and OEMHS twitter feeds and Facebook pages for preparedness tips throughout September and use the hashtag #MoCoPrepares on social media when promoting or attending NPM activities.

If your neighborhood or organization would like to hold a preparedness event, OEMHS staff would like to support those efforts. Use the Speaker Request form  to request a OEMHS staff speaker. OEMHS can also provide printed preparedness support materials for the event. Email Emergency.Management@montgomerycoumtymd.gov or call MC311 at 3-1-1 or 240-777-0311 to request materials.  

Throughout September, everyone is urged to prepare for potential emergencies. Planning strategies should be in place for family and pets, as well as the workplace and the greater community. 

The following is a planning guideline:

  1. Stay Informed:  Know what kind of hazards you’re susceptible to, and how to get information about emergencies that are occurring in your area. Montgomery County offers Alert Montgomery messaging, which sends emails and texts to your cell phone so that you stay  informed about severe weather, traffic disruptions, power outages, and floods, among other events.
  1. Make a plan:  Take time to figure out how to you are going to reach your family in times of disaster. Do you have an in-town contact, as well as an out-of-town contact?  This is important because it may be easier to reach someone out of town during an emergency because of overloaded phone lines in the affected area. Also, have two places to meet your family and loved ones in case of you need to evacuation. One outside your home in a safe location, and one outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return home.  Be sure your plan has considerations for children, older adults, pets, and those with access and functional needs, if needed. More information about emergency planning can be found here.

     

  2. Make a Kit:  Think about what you’ll need for basic survival, and make an emergency supply kit to have readily available in case you need to evacuate or shelter in place. Items that should be in your kit include: water, batteries, flashlight, food, clothes and shoes, can opener, hygiene products, medication, and others.  For a more complete list, click here.

     

  3. Get Involved:  Finally, help others prepare. Once you have your plan and emergency kit ready, contact older relatives, neighbors, and friends to assist them with emergency preparations and plan to check on them after an event.  Support neighborhood associations that are involved in emergency response, or better yet, join an emergency volunteer association, or get CPR and first aid certified. Information about some of these groups can be found here.

     

    Every year, emergencies affect millions of people globally causing injuries, fatalities, economic losses and emotional stress. However, simple emergency planning and preparedness can greatly decrease losses. Sign up for Alert Montgomery and see more information at the OEMHS website: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/oemhs/.

     

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Release ID: 17-439
Media Contact: Lucille.Baur@montgomerycountymd.gov 240-777-6507