Kingston, NY –Ulster County Executive Mike Hein recognizes September as National Preparedness Month (NPM) in Ulster County and urges residents to plan and be prepared in the case of a disaster or crisis. National Preparedness Month is a nationwide effort started by the Ready Campaign fifteen years ago to encourage households, businesses and communities to prepare and plan for emergencies. The 2018 National Preparedness Month theme is “Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.” which focuses on planning and reminds us that it is important to prepare ourselves and our families now and throughout the year. In addition to having a plan in place, citizens may want to learn a lifesaving skill such as CPR or first aid, check their insurance policy for appropriate coverages for flooding or other hazards, and save for costs that may be associated with an emergency. The goal of NPM is to increase the overall number of individuals, families, and communities that engage in preparedness actions at home, work, school, businesses and places of worship.
Michael P. Hein, Ulster County Executive
“As we have learned from our past experiences with Hurricane Irene, Superstorm Sandy and others, emergencies can and do take place when we least expect it, and although we can never control when disaster strikes, we can do everything possible to be well prepared when it does,” said County Executive Mike Hein. “A 2015 survey by FEMA found that nearly 60 percent of American adults have not practiced what to do in a disaster by participating in a disaster drill or preparedness exercise at work, school, or home. National Preparedness Month provides us with a great reminder to be proactive and be prepared, because a disaster or emergency could have life threatening implications. I urge all Ulster County residents to find out more information about creating a plan and lifesaving skills by visiting the following online sites: https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan, https://www.ready.gov/september and https://www.fema.gov or by contacting the Ulster County Department of Health’s Public Health Preparedness Program at (845) 334-5540. Having an emergency plan and being prepared will benefit our families, neighbors and communities when faced with a crisis.”
Dr. Carol Smith, Ulster County Commissioner of Health and Mental Health
“This year’s theme ‘Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.’ highlights the spontaneous nature of disasters and crisis situations, and encourages everyone to prepare and be safe in the event of an emergency, whether it is severe storms, high winds, flooding or power outages. It calls for people to have supplies on hand and an emergency plan in place, just in case something goes wrong,” said Dr. Carol Smith, Ulster County Commissioner of Health and Mental Health. “The Ulster County Department of Health and Mental Health and other County agencies are continually training for emergency scenarios; however, no amount of training can substitute for a well-prepared public. That is why it is so imperative that residents do their part in preparing for a disaster. Those who are prepared are better able to help our neighbors and community members who may not be able to help themselves. Friends and families should consider preparing a kit and writing a plan, including who to call, where to meet, and what to pack.”
Steven J. Peterson, Director of Ulster County Emergency Services
“During the month of September, we recognize National Preparedness Month and encourage residents to take action to prepare for different types of disasters that could affect us in Ulster County, both at home and at the workplace,” said Steven J. Peterson, Director of Ulster County Emergency Services. “We want to build a community where preparedness is not just a focus of one month out of the year, but a part of everyday life.”
The theme of National Preparedness Month this year is ‘Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.’ and the Ready Campaign has the following themed weeks:
- September 1-8: Make and Practice Your Plan
- September 9-15: Learn Life Saving Skills
- September 15: National Day of Action
- September 16-22: Check Your Insurance Coverage
- September 23-29: Save For an Emergency
Weekly themes and suggested action items can be found at https://www.ready.gov/september. One of the key messages of National Preparedness Month is to be prepared in the event an emergency in order to be self-reliant for three days without utilities and electricity, water service, access to a supermarket or local services, or maybe even without response from police, fire or rescue. Preparing can start with four important steps:
- Be informed about emergencies that could happen in your community, and identify sources of information in your community that will be helpful before, during and after an emergency;
- Make a plan for what to do in an emergency. Develop a written family (and business/organization) disaster plan and review it with everyone, so that everyone knows what to do, where to go and how to communicate in the event of a serious emergency;
- Build an emergency supply kit; and
- Get involved.
For more information about the Ready Campaign and National Preparedness Month, please visit www.ready.gov and https://community.fema.gov or call 1-800-BE-READY (1-800-237-3239), or contact the Ulster County Department of Health – Public Health Preparedness Program at (845) 334-5540.