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Posted on: September 11, 2023

Take Control in 1, 2, 3 During National Preparedness Month

Image of three women smiling and text that says 2023 National Preparedness Month

September marks National Preparedness Month, the annual recognition to remind everyone in America how important it is for individuals, families, and communities to prepare for disasters and emergencies that can happen at any time. Linn County encourages residents to join in observing National Preparedness Month. This year's theme is, "Take Control in 1, 2, 3," which focuses on preparing older adults for disasters, specifically older adults from communities that are disproportionally impacted by all-hazard events.

As you prepare your home, everyone, especially older adults, are encouraged to become more prepared in three simple steps:

  • Assess your needs. Everyone has unique needs. There are several factors that can affect the steps you need to take to prepare yourself and those you care for. Whether you care for pets, have children, have a medical condition or a disability, it is important to know what you or your family will need to stay safe. Your assessment should include knowing what types of weather hazards could happen where you live, and then start preparing how to handle them.
  • Make a plan and a kit. Once you’ve assessed your needs and possible hazards, it’s time to make a plan for how you will handle each type of risk, including what you’d do, where you’d go, and what to bring if a disaster strikes. You're going to need supplies not just to get through the storm or event, but for any potentially lengthy and unpleasant aftermath. Your emergency supply kit should include items that meet your individual needs. Have enough non-perishable food, water, clothes, and medicine to last each person in your family a minimum of three days. Electricity and water could be out for at least that long. You’ll need extra cash, a battery-powered radio, flashlights, and a first-aid kit. You may need a portable crank or solar-powered USB charger for your cell phones. Be sure to account for your pets in your plan. Find a printable disaster shopping list here.
  • Engage your support network. Get to know your neighbors because they, along with your family and friends, can be a support network before, during, and after a disaster by providing emotional and practical support. Include a friend or relative in another area who would not be impacted by the same emergency and who can help if necessary. Practice your plan with those who have agreed to be part of your personal support network.

Stay Informed

Know where to go for trusted sources of information during a weather or other emergency event. Sign up for alerts from your local emergency management office so notifications go directly to your phone and email. Monitor local news for weather watches and warnings in your area and follow directions of local officials. Make sure you have a battery-operated or hand-crank radio available should the power go out. 

Get an Insurance Checkup

The National Weather Service suggests that you get an insurance checkup. Call your insurance company or agent to make sure you have enough homeowner’s insurance to repair or even replace your home. Don’t forget coverage for your vehicles. Remember, standard homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover flooding. Whether you’re a homeowner or renter, you’ll need a separate policy for it, and it’s available through your company, agent, or the National Flood Insurance Program at floodsmart.gov. Act now as flood insurance requires a 30-day waiting period.

Be Prepared

The time to prepare for a disaster is before it happens, when you have the time and are not under pressure. Take the time now to assess your needs and make a plan. Know where to get official information for your area and start to get your supplies now. Being prepared before a disaster happens makes you resilient to its impacts. Linn County’s strategic plan includes organizational and community resilience and emergency response preparedness and its internal sustainability plan (PDF) includes a disaster preparedness goal. 

Additional Online Safety Resources