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Power outages, hurricanes, floods, or snow storms – it’s important to plan ahead for emergencies. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the Department of Public Health (DPH) have partnered together to launch two public information programs to help residents be ready for emergencies and disasters. A counterpart to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) national Ready campaign, MEMA’s Ready Massachusetts program empowers Bay State residents to prepare for and respond to natural, technological, and man-made disasters. Be Informed – Know when specific emergencies such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and winter storms may occur by paying attention to severe weather watches and warnings. Make a Plan – Prepare a designated communications plans for your home in case of emergency or disasters. Build an Emergency Kit – Every home and business should have a basic emergency supply kit ready for any emergency, at any time of year. Get Involved – Disaster preparedness, response, and recovery takes the whole community to be effective. DPH’s Together We’re Ready campaign encourages Massachusetts communities to prepare for public health emergencies as well as severe weather and natural disasters.
We’re All in This Together – Take additional steps planning if you or someone close to you has a disability or other access and functional needs. Get Vaccinated – Help fight the flu by remembering to get a yearly flu shot at a local health center or school-based flu vaccination clinic. Massachusetts residents can help ensure safety by preparing for potential emergencies ahead of time.
This is a guest blog post from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR).
Brenda Francis, the director of the Greater New Bedford Career Center, discusses the services available to job seekers across the Commonwealth at One-Stop Career Centers, including job training, job search help, career counseling, and more. A safety kit means greater peace of mind, especially when preparing for a stormy Pacific Northwest winter. Emergency preparedness experts recommend organizing supplies for your safety kit in several ways. Organize the items that you’d need to take with you in the event of evacuation, and store them in an accessible place.
Cash and copies of important family documents and emergency contact information in a waterproof container.
During a windstorm, listen to your local news for emergency advice, and stay inside and away from windows. Catherine Sweeney, APR is a professional writer and communicator affiliated with Creative Circle.

Be Aware: Free information is available to assist you from federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial resources. Police, fire and rescue may not always be able to reach you quickly, such as if trees and power lines are down or if they're overwhelmed by demand from an emergency. Get trained - The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government has a variety of training opportunities available to enable you to become better prepared for emergencies.
Volunteer - Once you get trained your volunteer services will be of great benefit to our community both before and during an emergency. Look for additional information throughout the month of September on better preparing yourselves and your families. The lessons learned from these events have motivated many communities to develop more thorough disaster preparedness plans to provide an organized response in times of crisis. So as we look back at the past year, I ask, what have you done to make your family more prepared in the event of a disaster here at home? You probably meant to, but in the chaos of our daily lives emergency preparedness can quickly slip to the bottom of the to-do list. Food – 3-day supply of food, such as ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables, canned juices, milk, soup, crackers, granola bars, peanut butter, jelly, trail mix, cookies, hard candy, vitamins, baby food & formula (if needed), and cereal. If you’d like to learn more about how you can be prepared, several local organizations offer training to enable residents to respond effectively in the event of a community emergency. Alan Stein is the Vice President of Marketing Services and Product Development for AlliedBarton Security Services. And because the Commonwealth designates September “National Preparedness Month,” there’s no better time to start than now. Think about your health needs, vulnerabilities, and capabilities when you make your emergency preparedness plan. Be sure to practice safe handwashing techniques and cover your coughs and sneezes to prevent the spread of colds and flu. Earlier this month, the Children’s Trust joined with Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito to announce April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. During September (National Preparedness Month), why not put together emergency supplies for your household? During an emergency, communities often have only themselves to rely on until outside help arrives. Place this in a convenient location, like beside the phone, for easy reference to what to do in a variety of different emergencies. A weather radio with “SAME” technology is the single most important step you can take to prepare for severe weather and to get weather alerts as soon as they are issued by the National Weather Service.

You can find out more information about any of these steps by calling the Division of Emergency Management at 258-3784.
But even the best response takes time to launch and each of us needs to be prepared to exist on our own for at least a few days until community response efforts take hold. Have you planned an escape route from your home and a meeting place outside in the event of a fire?
Also beneficial are pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacid, Syrup of Ipecac (to induce vomiting if necessary), a laxative, and activated charcoal (for use if instructed by Poison Control Center). Remember to develop a family disaster plan identifying escape routes from your home and two possible meeting places outside your home. Call the LFUCG Division of Emergency Management at 258-3784, LFUCG Division of Fire and Emergency Services at 231-5600, the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department at 231-9791, or the American Red Cross at 253-1331 for details. Those who live, work or vacation in hurricane zones should take advantage of the advanced storm warning signs. Know the warnings and watches used for hurricanes, including the five categories used to rate the strength of a hurricane and how to best prepare your home and business.
Are You Ready?” which highlights the importance of tabletop exercises, live drills and full-scale exercises.
By combining shopping at Goodwill with a visit to your local market, you can assemble your kit in a budget-friendly and quick manner. If you are planning for accessibility during an earthquake, consider storing your kit in a garage, closet, or storage room, on braced shelves. While Central Kentucky may never experience this type of devastation from a hurricane, we still need to be prepared for the types of severe weather that do affect us. Have you put together a disaster preparedness kit for use in the event of a loss of electricity or water supply? Practice the plan every year to make sure everyone in the house remembers what to do and where to go. Also identify a “safe room” – a closet or a room without windows – on the lowest level of your home.

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