Tal­bot marks Pre­pared­ness Month

Sunday Star - - FRONT PAGE - By CON­NIE CON­NOLLY cconnolly@ches­pub.com Fol­low me on Twit­ter @ con­nie_s­tar­dem.

The Tal­bot County Coun­cil pro­claimed Septem­ber as Na­tional Pre­pared­ness Month at its meet­ing on Tues­day, Sept. 12. Na­tional Pre­pared­ness Month en­cour­ages Amer­i­cans to pre­pare for dis­as­ters and emer­gen­cies. This year’s theme is “Dis­as­ters don’t plan ahead, but you can.”

EASTON — The Tal­bot County Coun­cil pro­claimed Septem­ber as Na­tional Pre­pared­ness Month at its meet­ing on Tues­day, Sept. 12.

The procla­ma­tion fol­lowed a pre­sen­ta­tion by Jim Bass, county emer­gency man­age­ment co­or­di­na­tor, who was ac­com­pa­nied by Holly Guschke, 911 dis­patch cap­tain, and Judy Miche­liche, EMS cap­tain.

Na­tional Pre­pared­ness Month is a na­tion­wide co­or­di­nated ef­fort spon­sored by the Fed­eral Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency (FEMA) each Septem­ber to en­cour­age Amer­i­cans to pre­pare for dis­as­ters and emer­gen­cies.

The goal of Na­tional Pre­pared­ness Month is to in­crease the num­ber of peo­ple and com­mu­ni­ties who en­gage in pre­pared­ness ac­tions at home and in schools, busi­nesses and neigh­bor­hoods, Bass said. The theme is “Dis­as­ters don’t plan ahead, but you can.”

“We re­ally en­cour­age peo­ple to put some time and ef­fort into be­ing pre­pared for dis­as­ters of all shapes and sources,” Bass said.

The four weekly themes of the month are “Make a Plan for Your­self, Your Fam­ily and Your Friends,” “Plan to Help Your Neigh­bor and Com­mu­nity,” “Prac­tice and Build Out Your Plans,” and “Get In­volved and be Part of Some­thing Larger.”

Bass said there are three things the Tal­bot County Depart­ment of Emer­gency Ser­vices (DES) en­cour­ages every­one to do dur­ing Septem­ber. The first is to “make an emer­gency plan for your fam­ily — think about whether you and your fam­ily are go­ing to shel­ter in place or evac­u­ate, and if you are go­ing to evac­u­ate, where are you go­ing to go?” Bass said.

The sec­ond and third con­sid­er­a­tions are, “How are you go­ing to com­mu­ni­cate with your loved ones and what are you go­ing to take with you?” Bass said. To an­swer the third ques­tion, Bass en­cour­aged every­one “to put to­gether an emer­gency sup­ply kit which would (in­clude ba­sics) like food, wa­ter, clothes, med­i­ca­tion, shel­ter­ing sup­plies and pet sup­plies.”

Bass re­ported that DES was in­volved in con­ven­tional and so­cial me­dia cam­paigns and a free, seven-week CERT or Com­mu­nity Emer­gency Re­sponse Train­ing class, which be­gan in Septem­ber with about 20 peo­ple who were learn­ing a range of emer­gency pre­pared­ness skills.

The next CERT train­ing will be of­fered in the spring.

DES is en­cour­ag­ing res­i­dents to reg­is­ter for the Tal­bot County Cit­i­zen Alert Mass No­ti­fi­ca­tion Sys­tem and to down­load the free app for An­droid and iPhones to get the lat­est pre­pared­ness in­for­ma­tion.

In its procla­ma­tion, the coun­cil “of­fi­cially rec­og­nizes the Tal­bot County Depart­ment of Emer­gency Ser­vices and its com­mu­nity part­ners, in­clud­ing the Lo­cal Emer­gency Plan­ning Com­mit­tee (LEPC), the Tal­bot County Depart­ment of So­cial Ser­vices, the Tal­bot County Health Depart­ment, our vol­un­teer fire de­part­ments and law en­force­ment agen­cies, as well as the many other vol­un­teer and civic or­ga­ni­za­tions that rou­tinely of­fer their in­valu­able ser­vices to our com­mu­nity.”

For more in­for­ma­tion about emer­gency pre­pared­ness and to sign up for the cit­i­zen alert sys­tem, log onto Tal­bot DES at www.tal bot­des.org.

PHOTO BY CON­NIE CON­NOLLY

On be­half of the Tal­bot County Coun­cil, Coun­cil­man Chuck Cal­la­han, left, thanked county emer­gency man­age­ment ser­vices (EMS) per­son­nel for their service to the county af­ter the coun­cil pro­claimed Septem­ber Na­tional Pre­pared­ness Month at its Sept. 12 meet­ing. Ac­cept­ing the procla­ma­tion are Clay Stamp, di­rec­tor of Tal­bot County Emer­gency Ser­vices, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Mary­land Opi­oid Op­er­a­tional Com­mand Cen­ter (OOCC), se­nior emer­gency man­age­ment ad­vi­sor to the Gov­er­nor and chair of the Gov­er­nor’s Emer­gency Man­age­ment Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil; Holly Guschke, 911 dis­patch cap­tain; Judy Miche­liche, EMS Cap­tain and Jim Bass, emer­gency man­age­ment co­or­di­na­tor.

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