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Are you prepared?

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Being prepared is never a bad thing especially when an unwanted emergency arises. September is a great time to practice being prepared as it has been designated National Preparedness Month. This year's theme is "You can be the Hero."

National Preparedness Month, now in its ninth year, encourages Americans to take steps to prepare for any emergency in their homes, businesses, schools and communities. State health officials are working to prepare Hoosiers by providing tips and advice about what to do with pets, how to prepare children, what the elderly and people with functional needs should do, and how business can help in any potential emergency. 

Natural disasters such as extreme summer heat, tornadoes or flooding remind us about the need to be prepared.  However, we must also consider other potential threats, such as bioterrorism or a chemical or radiological incident, when we think about preparing for an emergency.

Ideally, individuals should be prepared to be self-reliant for three days without utilities and electricity, water service, access to a supermarket or local services, and without response from police, fire or rescue.

To get prepared, health officials recommend the following:

  • Be informed about emergencies that could happen in your community, and identify sources of info in your community that will be helpful throughout an emergency.
  • Make a plan for what to do in an emergency.
  • Build an emergency supply kit.
  • Get involved by finding opportunities to support preparedness in your community.

Preparedness is a shared responsibility and it takes a whole community. This year's National Preparedness Month focuses on turning awareness into action by encouraging all individuals and all communities nationwide to make an emergency preparedness plan. Preparedness information and events will be posted to http://community.fema.gov/connect.ti/READYNPM.

To read the weekly tips for preparedness during September, visit the Indiana State Department of Health's website at www.StateHealth.in.gov, Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ISDH1, or Twitter account at http://twitter.com/#!/statehealthin.

For more information about National Preparedness Month, visit the Indiana State Department of Health's website at www.StateHealth.in.gov or www.ready.gov

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