Preparing for the unknown

Brad Speer

GREENSBURG — Now is the time to prepare for the unknown.

The Decatur County Emergency Management Agency and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security are encouraging Hoosiers to take advantage of National Preparedness Month this month.

“It’s right between seasons, and obviously we can have severe weather anytime, but this is also a good time to prepare for things like fire safety and cyber safety,” Decatur County EMA Director Brad Speer said.

Speer said he encourages local residents to visit GetPrepared.in.gov to learn more about how they can stay safe in various scenarios.

As he has said before, Speer recommends Decatur County residents stay up to date on situations by signing up for the Nixle program.

Through the Nixle program, Decatur County residents can receive updates and alerts from the emergency management agency, such as weather updates, road closures, and reports of accidents or other hazards by texting decaturco to 888777.

“We also have weather radios available as long as they last, and people can contact us for one,” Speer said. “Fire departments also have access to smoke detectors, so contact your local department.”

The Decatur County EMA can be reached at 812-663-2004.

According to the IDHS Communications Director David Hosick, preparation is key.

“Preparation can help mitigate the effects and stress caused by any disaster or emergency,” Hosick said. “Indiana is prone to many different types of severe weather all throughout the year. Taking the time to learn how to prepare for an emergency can greatly increase your chances of staying safe.”

The IDHS says National Preparedness Month is the perfect opportunity for Hoosiers to learn lifesaving skills, such as CPR and first aid, how to check insurance policies for common hazards and how to make and practice a household emergency plan.

In addition to keeping those ideas in mind, the department offered the following safety tips in regards to disaster and weather preparedness:

• Become aware of disasters that could occur in the local area. Learn what to look for and what to avoid in each

• Discuss possible emergency scenarios with family members. Include events such as fires, natural disasters and man-made disasters. Make sure everyone in the family or workplace knows the steps involved in responding to these

• Establish meeting locations in the event of a potential disaster, and make sure all family members and employees are aware of them

• Create a list of emergency contacts, and share it with family members and friends

The IDHS also says September is the perfect time to create and update an emergency disaster kit. Disaster kits include water, food, first aid and other much needed items.

More information on creating a kit can be found by visiting www.in.gov/dhs.

Contact: Joshua Heath, 812-663-3111 x217401; joshua.heath@greensburgdailynews.com

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