The Henry & Stark County Health Departments and Henry County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) note that this September we mark the 22nd year anniversary of 9/11. Since then, September has been designated as National Preparedness Month. This event was founded after 9/11 to increase preparedness in the U.S. RaeAnn Tucker, Director of Health Promotion, states, "The designation is a nationwide, month-long effort that encourages individuals, families, businesses, and communities to work together and take action to prepare and plan for emergencies."
This year's effort has a growing coalition of more than 2,700 national, regional, state, and local organizations pledging support. The goal for National Emergency Preparedness Month 2023 is to encourage all Americans to take active steps toward getting involved and becoming prepared. Preparedness is a shared responsibility; it takes a whole community. This year's National Preparedness Month focuses on turning awareness into action by encouraging all individuals and all communities nationwide to make an emergency preparedness plan.
Tucker adds, "This year's theme for National Preparedness Month's is, “Take Control in 1, 2, 3,.” This theme empowers everyone, especially older adults, to 1) assess their needs; 2) make a plan; and 3) engage their support network to stay safe when disaster strikes.
Some important things to remember this National Preparedness Month:
- Older adults can face greater risks when it comes to the multitude of extreme weather events and emergencies we now face, especially if they are living alone, have low-income, have a disability, or live in rural areas.
- By the year 2035, the US Census Bureau projects that there will be more Americans over the age of 65 than under the age of 18. Over the next decade, it is imperative that the growing older adult population become more aware of their risks and better prepared for them.
Tucker concludes, "National Preparedness Month is a good reminder that emergencies will happen, but taking action now can help us minimize the impact they will have on our lives. That's why the Health Department and OEM staff are continually taking steps to become educated, trained, and better prepared; and we urge you to take time this month to do the same."
For more information on the Health Department's Emergency Preparedness visit www.ready.gov. or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Department. Funding for this program was provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health.