HENDRICKS COUNTY, IN – Local public health preparedness officials want to remind residents to prepare for emergencies and disasters as they celebrate National Preparedness Month.
“Now – before an emergency or disaster happens – is the best time to prepare your family, business, or school for an emergency or disaster,” says Brittney Younger, Public Health Preparedness Coordinator with the Hendricks County Health Department. “Our staff and partners continually prepare to respond to these events, but it is also important for the public to be prepared as well.”
Younger encourages all residents, schools, and local businesses to take steps to better prepare for emergencies and disasters:
- Be Informed – Learn what protective measures to take before, during, and after an emergency. Hendricks County is most vulnerable to severe storms and winter weather, flooding, tornadoes, and power outages.
- Make a Plan – Know who to contact, when to contact them, and where to meet in case of a disaster.
- Build a Kit – Prepare for disasters by keeping emergency supplies readily available at home, work, and in your vehicle. This includes items like food and water, extra medication, and pet supplies if you have pets.
- Get Involved – Find and utilize opportunities to support community preparedness, like joining the Hendricks County Medical Reserve Corps.
Younger recommends that all residents, businesses, and schools creating or updating their emergency or disaster preparedness plans and kits should visit www.ready.gov for more information.
“Ready.gov is a great website that breaks out each type of emergency or disaster and provides step-by-step guides on how to prepare for each one,” says Younger. “They have checklists, sample communication plans, and children’s activities to get them involved in preparing.”
The Health Department also participates in a wide variety of activities throughout the year in preparation to address possible emergencies or disasters.
“We conduct an annual preparedness exercise and periodic communication drills, and we participate in countywide community resiliency planning with other agencies,” states Younger. “Earlier this month, we coordinated with community partners to host the first Hendricks County Preparedness and Public Safety Day, which provided an opportunity to educate residents on how to prepare for emergencies and disasters and meet some of the agencies in the county who work daily to protect their health and safety.”
Residents interested in volunteering during emergencies or disasters are encouraged to join the Hendricks County Medical Reserve Corps. The Medical Reserve Corps is a national network of medical and non-medical volunteers who are organized locally to improve the health and safety of their communities. Younger coordinates this group, which meets quarterly to discuss and organize community health and preparedness activities. Anyone interested in participating in the Hendricks County Medical Reserve Corps should call (317) 745-9214.
In addition to the Hendricks County Medical Reserve Corps, Younger says that she is always willing to help the community be better prepared for emergencies and disasters.
“I am always recruiting new volunteers, and there are opportunities for any resident, business, or agency – including churches, civic groups, and homeowners’ associations – to get involved.”
For more information about public health preparedness or how to become more involved, contact Brittney Younger at the Hendricks County Health Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or (317) 745-9214.