News Release

Health Department of Northwest Michigan
serving Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego Counties
Visit us at www.nwhealth.org


Health Department encourages families to prepare an emergency kit

(September 21, 2007) During Family Preparedness Week (September 23-29, 2007), of Emergency Preparedness Month, public health officials are encouraging everyone to compile a family emergency kit. “If able-bodied people had basic supplies for three days, emergency responders could focus on those who need assistance most,” said Carol Paxton, Public Health Emergency Preparedness Director for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan. “Here in northern Michigan, our greatest risks for emergencies are weather related. But a family emergency kit may also be critical in other sorts of emergencies, such as disease outbreaks or power outages.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends your family emergency kit include:

For those of us who live in a cold climate, FEMA also suggests your family emergency kits contains one complete change of clothing and shoes per person, including jacket, long pants, long sleeve shirt, sturdy shoes, hat, mittens, scarf, and sleeping bag or warm blanket. Be sure to account for growing children and other family changes. Also, you may want to add items to your kit depending on the specific needs of your family.

Most families prefer to store their emergency supplies in one location that is relatively safe, yet easily accessible if evacuation is required, such as a large trash can, suitcase, duffel bag, backpack, or footlocker.

“Emergency preparedness is everyone’s responsibility”, Paxton said. “All sectors of society –government, service providers, businesses, civic and volunteer groups, as well as every individual citizen, should plan ahead for disaster. During the first few hours or days, essential services may not be available and people must be ready.”

The Health Department of Michigan is mandated by the Michigan Public Health Code to promote wellness, prevent disease, provide quality healthcare, address health problems of vulnerable populations, and protect the environment for the residents and visitors of Antrim Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego counties. For additional information about preparing a family emergency kit, visit www.michigan.gov/michiganprepares or www.ready.gov


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