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National Preparedness Month
We consider our first responders - firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical services to be our everyday heroes. They work tirelessly to help keep our communities safe and help rescue, protect, and treat us during our emergencies. But during a disaster they may be overwhelmed with the number of people needing help and unable to get to you quickly. During National Preparedness Month we invite YOU to be the Hero! Being able to take care of yourself can free up our first responders to take care of others who can’t, and that makes you a hero too! Even just a simple single step in your own preparedness goes a long way to strengthening your household and community.
There are 4 main tenants of personal preparedness:
• Stay Informed
Accurate information, including emergency alerts and warnings from trusted sources on any threat or disaster situation is vital to your safety. Access Ramsey County Emergency Management or http://www.ready.gov/ to learn about the various different choices you have in accessing timely warnings and accurate information and how to find them.
• Make a Plan
Discuss, agree on, and document an emergency plan with all the members of your household or business. For sample plans, see Ramsey County Emergency Management or http://www.ready.gov/. Make sure that plan addresses key issues like how you will communicate with each other and emergency officials if your cell phones don't work, where you will go for safety, and the unique needs of the members of your household.
• Build a Kit
Keep enough emergency supplies - water, nonperishable food, first aid, prescriptions, flashlight, and battery-powered radio on hand - for you and those in your care. First responders may be overwhelmed helping others and unable to reach you for up to 3 days after a major disaster. You may also be without power and outside supplies for an extended period. Make sure you already have on hand what you would need to take care of yourself. To see examples and recommendations for emergency kits visit American Red Cross or http://www.ready.gov/.
• Get Involved
There are many ways to get involved especially before a disaster occurs. The whole community can participate in programs and activities to make their families, homes and places of worship safer from risks and threats. We rely on experienced disaster volunteer organizations for many critical services, especially to the public affected by the disaster. We are stronger together and everyone can contribute. Visit Minnesota Voluntary Organizations Active In Disaster or Citizen Corps to see a list of Organizations that you can become a part of.
Help for Minnesota Residents Affected by June 2014 Floods
Minnesota Housing provides loans up to $70,000 if your home or rental property was damaged in the June floods. Funds are for capital improvements that return the home to pre-disaster or comparable condition. Visit Minnesota Housing Finance Agency for loan information | Flyer (pdf)