Kent County: September Is National Preparedness Month
August storms and tornadoes have come and gone, but Kent County Emergency Management officials don’t want you to forget your emergency plans. September is National Preparedness Month and local officials continue to encourage you to be ready… just in case.
“You know the tornado that we had a couple weeks ago, there were no injuries. And I’m thinking that the outreach we’ve made for public to prepare, and how to respond to severe weather, paid off in that event.”
And the outreach continues.
Jack Stewart is the emergency management coordinator for Kent County and the city of Grand Rapids. He says the month includes awareness of severe weather. Stewart and the county's Emergency Management Division continue to stress to residents: They need an emergency plan.
“What you need to do is be able to take care of your own needs and your families’ needs. What do you do if the power goes out? What do you do if your home is not inhabitable?”
Stewart encourages residents to take advantage of news and weather apps for their phones, in case they don’t hear the sirens. He also advises getting a weather radio to stay on top of severe weather.
But one of the biggest things he says is to know what you’re going to do, especially if it’s a long-term emergency.
“Do you have some place else to go? On a large-scale event, it would be better to encourage our citizens to have a reciprocal agreement with a friend or a family member. If something happens to my home, can I stay with you for a while and reciprocate - if something happens to your home, you can stay with us.”
Stewart says don’t just have a plan for your immediate family. He encourages all to look out for the elderly and neighbors with special needs in the event of severe weather or other emergencies.
Pets should also be a part of your emergency plan.
Stewart says you can find all the information you need on their website, at AccessKent.com.