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Are you ready?

By Staff | Oct 5, 2012

The health, safety, and security of every citizen in North Dakota is a top concern of the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) and all of the local public health units across the state. Our mission in every city and every region we represent is to assure a healthy living environment for you and your families.

Part of that mission is preparing and responding to emergencies within our borders. From adverse weather conditions, disease outbreaks, biological threats and terrorist attacks, the Emergency Preparedness and Response personnel at all eight of our regional public health units and at the NDDoH prepare themselves year-round for the worst imaginable conditions, and ready themselves to respond and protect the community from threats to their health.

Each year, September is recognized as National Preparedness Month by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and all of its partners in emergency response across the country. This is a great opportunity for families to assess how prepared they are in the event of an emergency, and to take simple action steps that will help to protect themselves from threats to their health.

“National Preparedness Month is the time of year that we like to inform the public about what measures are put in place so that, in the event of a catastrophe, you can depend on health officials locally and at the state level to respond appropriately and protect the population,” said Deb Schiff, Pierce County Public Health Nurse.

At the individual level, there are a number of measures that every family can do to protect themselves in a crisis. For instance, households can be preparing for emergencies by keeping an emergency preparedness kit assembled in their homes, and in their cars and recreational vehicles.

Suggested items to put into your home emergency preparedness kit would include:

  • ?Bottled water (one gallon of water per person, per day for three days)
  • ?First aid kit, essential medications
  • ?Sanitation items
  • ?Blankets
  • ?Duct tape, plastic sheeting
  • ?Dust masks (N-95) to help filter contaminated air
  • ?Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • ?Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • ?Local maps
  • ?Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
  • ?NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • ?Battery-powered or hand crank radio, flashlight, extra batteries
  • ?Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food, manual can opener
  • ?Extra warm clothing, including boots, mittens, and a hat
  • ?Red or brightly colored cloth
  • ?Whistle to signal for help
  • ?Backup power source for any required medical equipment

In your car and recreational vehicle, you should carry:

  • ?Fire extinguisher ??Extra clothing to keep dry
  • ?Booster cables and tow rope ??Road flare
  • ?Compass and road maps ??Small tool kit
  • ?Shovel ??Non-perishable, high-energy snacks
  • ?Tire repair kit and pump

The North Dakota Department of Health (www.ndhealth.gov/EPR/Planning.asp) and FEMA (www.ready.gov) provide a valuable resource online for anyone looking for tips and information on what they can do to prepare themselves and their families in the event of any emergency.

For more information about Emergency Preparedness and Response staff and activities with Lake Region District Health Unit-Pierce County, contact Deb Schiff at 701.776.6783 or dschiff@nd.gov.

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