A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Public health officials launch information campaign to increase disaster preparedness efforts

The Kentucky Department for Public Health, within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, is launching the First 72 On You information campaign during the month of September, which is National Preparedness Month.

The goal of First 72 On You is to increase emergency preparedness efforts for Kentuckians and their families.

When disasters such as flooding, record snowfalls, deadly tornadoes and wildfires strike, communities are often left without safety, security, food and shelter. The first 72 hours (three days) are critical during a serious crisis for individuals and their families to be self-sufficient because electricity, gas, water and telephones may not be working and public safety services may not be able to reach you immediately.

In catastrophic circumstances, it might take longer for rescue or assistance to arrive so it is important that individuals should be prepared to be self-sufficient by being able to live without running water, electricity and/or gas for at least three days following a disaster. This includes having a well-stocked emergency preparedness kit for individuals, their family members and pets.

“Emergencies and disasters can happen at any time and any place often without notice and we all need to take time during National Preparedness Month to remember that during the first 72 hours following a disaster, it may be up to you to be self-sufficient,” said Dr. Jeffrey Howard, DPH commissioner. “It is important for everyone to have a plan and a well-stocked emergency kit to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours following a disaster because being prepared could save your life.”

DPH will be spotlighting the following preparedness topics weekly during NPM:

Sept. 10-14 – Preparedness for families and children

Sept. 17-21 – Preparedness for older adults

Sept. 24-28 – Pet preparedness

Additional information about the First 72 on You campaign is available on Youtube and will also be posted on the CHFS Facebook page: www.facebook.com where Kentuckians are encouraged to like and share posts among their networks of friends.

The nationwide effort of NPM is organized each year by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to encourage citizens to prepare and plan for emergencies in their homes, business and schools. This yearly observance was founded after 9/11 to increase preparedness awareness in the U.S., a fitting time to join the effort to help communities prepare for emergencies, such as natural disasters and potential terrorist threats, and to encourage individuals to take action.

For more information about preparing for and responding to emergencies visit ready.gov.

From Kentucky Department for Public Health

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