September 3, 2019 - 4:28 pm - Posted in News

Des Moines, Iowa — Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has proclaimed this month as Preparedness Month in Iowa to urge Iowans to take steps now to prepare for emergencies and disasters.

Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Joyce Flinn says recent severe weather and flooding are reminders that disasters can and do happen in our state and that everyone needs to be prepared. She says that while we can’t control the weather and its impacts, we can plan ahead so we know how to survive when emergencies and disasters occur. She says we all have a role to play in the preparedness of ourselves, our families, our communities, and our state.

Lyon County Emergency Management Director Arden Kopishke says it’s important for everyone to be prepared for emergencies and unplanned circumstances, not just emergency responders.

Kopishke says they often suggest that you have a disaster kit especially during a blizzard or when you travel. But he says it’s good to have a kit with emergency supplies at all times.

He also tells us we should practice our contingency plans — storm plans, fire plans, where to meet if the home is not an option, and so forth.

Iowa’s Preparedness Month is held in conjunction with National Preparedness Month, which was created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States to educate the public on how to prepare for emergencies.

Thomas Craighton, the president of the Iowa Emergency Management Association says that while local emergency managers help to ensure responders in each county are ready for emergencies and disasters, citizens have a responsibility to be prepared, too. He says disasters begin and end in our neighborhoods and home towns. He says, “It’s important that citizens take responsibility for their own preparedness.”

Kenny Podrazik, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service emphasizes that now is the time to organize, review, and practice your family preparedness plan. He says it’s imperative you and your family know who to call, where to meet, and what to pack before the big disaster strikes. He says your family plan could save lives.

During Preparedness Month, Iowans are urged to take simple steps to ensure they, their families, and their places of business are prepared. Those steps are making an emergency plan, building an emergency kit, and being aware of hazards in their area. More information on these simple steps can be found at www.beready.iowa.gov.

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