Apparently, September has been named preparedness month.

I was not prepared (haha) for September to go so quickly. We had a taste of fall weather when a cold front came in and also brought much-needed rain.

The fall festival is Friday and I am hoping for some good weather as families gather for good times. Make sure to stop by the first grade’s fried Oreo booth and the kindergarten’s nacho booth. While you’re there, play some pumpkin bowling too!

Just as the Kentucky weather is unpredictable, so is life’s disasters. Here’s some tips on being prepared:

KU has offered tips in case of emergency.

• They suggest making a plan with your family or with your staff. Plans need to be made for various situations, including at home, work or in the car.

• Stocking up on emergency items is also vital. Gather items that will help you survive for 72 hours, including medicines, water, nonperishable food, can opener, crank flashlight, first aid kit, extra clothes, chargers, battery-operated radio and batteries. Have an emergency pack and pack it now. Have one for your car too and include an ice scraper, flares, jumper cables and blankets.

SERVPRO also had some tips.

• Learn life-saving skills. CPR is a good place to start, but also be certain you know how to turn off the utilities in your home and ensure your smoke and CO detectors are properly installed and working.

• Check your insurance coverage. Once the emergency is over, appropriate and sufficient insurance will be key to getting your life back to normal, or at least on track.

• Plan financially for the possibility of a disaster. This goes beyond having a “rainy day fund” for immediate needs. Gather and organize important home, business, insurance, financial, and personal documents and keep them up-to-date and stored in a secure, water-and-fire proof location.

For seniors and those with disabilities (from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services):

• Maintain a supply of personal, health and home supplies, including a two-week supply of prescription medications, enough ready-to-eat food and water to last at least three days, first aid supplies, matches, spare batteries and a waterproof container for essential documents.

• Individuals with mobility issues should plan on how to evacuate or discuss with care providers. If you use a motorized wheelchair, have a manual wheelchair as a backup.

• Those blind or visually impaired should keep an extra cane by the bed and attach a whistle to it. Be cautious when moving, as paths may have become obstructed. Also have a predesignated person and a plan in place in case evacuation becomes necessary because many blind individuals depend on public transportation that may not be operating during an emergency.

• Deaf/hard of hearing individuals should keep extra batteries for hearing aids with emergency supplies. Store hearing aids in a container attached to a nightstand or bedpost so they can be located quickly after a disaster.

• If your relative receives assistance from a home healthcare agency, find out how they respond to an emergency. Designate backup or alternative providers that you can contact in an emergency.

• Individuals with disabilities should contact their local fire department and/or police station now to inform them that they have a disability so that this information could be kept by the agency in case of a disaster.

For pets (from CHFS)

• Assemble a pet emergency kit with basic survival items to keep your pet happy and comfortable. Be sure to include at least a three day supply of food and water specifically for your pets, collar or harness with ID tag, rabies tag and leash, food dishes, paper towels, trash bags, bleach, medicines and medical records, important documents such as animal registration and vaccination documents. In addition, be sure to include a picture of you and your pet together in case you become separated.

• Identify pet friendly lodging facilities in the area, along your evacuation route or boarding facilities or animal hospitals near your evacuation shelter. Keep this list in your pet’s emergency kit.

• Locate a veterinarian or animal hospital in the area where you may be seeking temporary shelter, in case your pet needs medical care.

• Have your pet microchipped and make sure that you not only keep your address and phone number up to date, but that you also include contact info for an emergency contact outside of your immediate area. Attach your name and current emergency number to your pet’s collar/ID tag.

• Take your pets with you if you evacuate because pets are unlikely to survive on their own.

• Don’t leave your pets unattended because they may panic and run off, hide or bite/scratch when approached.

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