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EMA Director Encourages Preparedness
Posted on: 09/05/2013
By  Andy Rex
September is National Preparedness Month, and officials want you to be ready in the event of a disaster.
The observance was created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, to educate people on preparing for emergencies.
Washington County Emergency Management Agency director Jeff Lauer lays out some steps you can take in order to be ready for the unexpected…
“Take the time this National Preparedness Month to first, be informed.  You can go to ready.ohio.gov and check it out.  Then you need to make a plan and discuss it with all your family members.  Then build a kit.  Practice is what we’re pushing here locally.”
So, what items should you place in that readiness kit?
“We encourage people to plan for a disaster of three days - three days worth of water, three days worth of non-perishable food, medicine, things of that nature.”
He says you should make sure you have flashlights and plenty of batteries, and to plan for any type of disaster that might hit…
“We would encourage people to think of 'all hazards' planning – fires, floods, no electric, tornadoes – anything in this area that can happen.  Make sure you have battery-operated radios so you can tune to WMOA when there’s a power outage.  Also, we encourage people to have an weather alert radio. That way, you have the technology to wake you up when there’s an alert in the middle of the night.”
Lauer also recommends that, if you can, get involved in community planning for disasters, by volunteering for local Red Cross chapters in Marietta and Parkersburg, or the Ohio Citizen Corps.
As part of National Preparedness Month, the Ohio EMA is helping to set up 3,000 small U.S. flags on the Statehouse lawn to commemorate those lost in the September 11 attacks.
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