Armond Budish Kicks Off National Preparedness Month

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John O'Brien: (216) 263-4545; 

Cuyahoga County, OH – September has been proclaimed National Preparedness Month by Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. The theme for National Preparedness Month (NPM) this year is Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How. Preparedness is important; everyone can act now to plan and prepare for disasters.

NPM is intended to raise awareness and to encourage everyone to prepare themselves for emergencies that could impact their homes, their businesses, their schools, and communities.

“There is no better time than now to be prepared,” said Sima Merick, Executive Director of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency (OEMA). “Emergencies and disasters can happen at any time, often without any warning. Knowing what hazards or severe weather events could impact your area; practicing your emergency plans; updating your disaster supply kits – these are just some things everyone can do to be self-sufficient and to enhance community resilience.”

“Being aware of your risks and taking a few simple steps to prepare yourself and your family can make huge difference” adds Mark Christie, Cuyahoga County’s EMA Director. “National Preparedness Month reminds us of the importance of personal preparedness and encourages everyone to take action before emergencies happen.”

Actions to Prepare Now:
  • Organize disaster supply kits for your home and vehicles. A supply kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. After a disaster happens, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Your disaster kits should have enough food, water, and other essential items to sustain everyone in your home (including pets) for at least three days. Most items in a basic kit are inexpensive and easy to find. And you might already have a lot of the items in your home. For more tips and an emergency kit list, see 
  • Take time to learn life-saving skills – actions you can take to prepare for and protect against disasters and severe weather events. Install smoke, carbon monoxide and natural gas detectors and test them monthly. Know how to turn off utilities, like water and gas. Talk to your landlord or building manager about evacuation routes and fire safety. Know two ways out of your home in case of a fire and practice evacuation plans.
  • Check your insurance policies and coverage for the hazards that might impact your home or community, such as flooding, tornadoes or home fires.
  • Consider the costs associated with disasters. Consider saving money in an emergency savings account that could be used in any crisis. Keep a small amount of cash at home in a safe place. Have small bills on hand because ATMs and credit cards may not work after a disaster when you may need to purchase necessary supplies, fuel or food.
  • Attend Preparedness Event: Saturday September 22: Cuyahoga County National Preparedness Month Event offering safety tips and tools, tours of police, fire and safety vehicles and Life Flite, plus more than 20 vendors, including The Red Cross, and National Weather Service. Join us at SouthPark Mall in Strongsville from 12:00 pm-3:00 pm.

In coordination with FEMA, OEMA, and the Cuyahoga County Office of Emergency Management; households, businesses, schools, and places of worship are encouraged to Prepare Now and Learn How by participating in NPM’s weekly themes throughout September:
  • Week 1: Sept 1-8 Make and Practice Your Plan
  • Week 2: Sept 9-15 Learn Life-Saving Skills
  • Week 3: Sept 16-22 Check Your Insurance Coverage
  • Week 4: Sept 23-29 Save for an Emergency

Visit ReadyOhio or for additional information on National Preparedness Month’s weekly themes. Follow the Cuyahoga County Office of Emergency Management on Facebook and Twitter (@cuyahogaOEM) for additional messages on NPM and emergency preparedness.