Kingston, NY – September is National Preparedness Month (NPM) and Ulster County Executive Mike Hein recognizes this important initiative and encourages residents to plan and be prepared in the case of a disaster or crisis. This nationwide effort which was started by the Ready Campaign is now in its fourteenth year, encouraging households, businesses and communities to prepare and plan for emergencies. The 2017 National Preparedness Month theme is “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.,” reminding everyone that “We should all take action to prepare! We are all able to help first responders in our community by training how to respond during an emergency and what to do when disaster strikes – where we live, work, and visit.” 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
“In light of the tragedy and hardships being endured in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the value of preparedness is more poignant now than ever. 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 assembling an emergency kit and creating a plan by visiting the following online sites: https://www.ready.gov/kit, www.community.fema.gov, https://emergency.cdc.gov/preparedness/kit/disasters/ or contact 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 Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.’ 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, Mental Health, and other County agencies are always training for emergency scenarios; however, no amount of training can fully equip you for every possible situation. 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 Communications
“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 Communications. “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 Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.’, and the Ready Campaign has the following themed weeks:
- Week 1 (September 1-9) Make a Plan for Yourself, Family & Friends
- Week 2 (September 10-16) Plan to Help Your Neighbor & Community
- Week 3 (September 17-23) Practice & Build Out Your Plans
- Week 4 (September 24-30) Get Involved! Be a Part of Something Larger
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:
1. 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;
2. 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;
3. Build an emergency supply kit; and
4. Get involved.
For more information about the Ready Campaign and National Preparedness Month, please visit www.ready.gov and http://www.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.