Be prepared, not scared during National Preparedness Month

Earlier this month, deputies with Clay County Emergency Management and the sheriff’s office gave out safety information to families at the Ball’s Price Chopper location on Barry Road. Each week in September, the emergency management office is creating videos with tips on how to keep families safe in observance of National Preparedness Month.

As thoughts of summer wind down and thoughts of fall ramp up, families should be sure those festival fall thoughts include safety and preparedness.

In honor of September being National Preparedness Month, we at the Courier-Tribune have partnered with an array of Northland resources to provide families advice on a full manner of topics surrounding how to keep families safe in our Northland Family special content that printed Sept. 5 and is available online under the Northland Family drop-down under the Special Sections tab of our website,

Stories found there provide tips on what to do before, during and after an evacuation when a natural disaster strikes; making sure insurance policies are updated and include a catalog of listed items in a home; how to keep children safe from falls and water-related accidents in a family home; how to care for pets during an emergency; and what do in case of a fire.

In addition to those stories, in keeping with the theme of 2019’s preparedness month, “prepared, not scared,” Clay County Emergency Management under the Clay County Sheriff’s Office is creating weekly social media videos throughout the month with each focused on a different aspect of staying prepared. This week’s Facebook video focuses on teaching youth how to be prepared.

The State Emergency Management Agency under the Missouri Department of Public Safety also offers a slew of tips that includes how to stay safe during a tornado, severe thunderstorm, winter weather, dam failure and flooding, all natural disasters the Northland is potentially impacted by each year.

As severe weather can strike in an instant and sometimes without warning, it is imperative families not only know how to stay safe but craft a plan that considers the mobility and needs of each family member.

Just as important as crafting a safety plan that may include multiple routes for evacuation, families should put their safety plan to the test through practice. Practice helps keep family members calm during emergency situations, which means they are more likely to remember the safety plan, be able to execute it and/or be level-headed enough to craft alternatives on the spot should they be required.

Thinking about natural disasters and how to keep family members safe can be difficult and stressful, but remember, the goal is to be prepared, not scared.

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