Senator Charles Grassley
Q: What is National Preparedness Month?
A: National Preparedness Month helps increase public awareness about emergency preparedness each September and helps educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies including natural disasters and possible terrorist attacks. This year, National Preparedness Month focuses on changing perceptions about emergency preparedness and helping Americans understand what it truly means to be ready in the face of an emergency. Iowans have seen firsthand the havoc that natural disasters can cause. Tornadoes, flooding and thunderstorms over the last few years have shown Iowans the need to be properly prepared for emergencies. Iowans can learn more about National Preparedness Month and the Ready Campaign by visiting the website www.ready.gov .
Q: How can Iowans be better prepared for a disaster?
A: The Ready Campaign (www.ready.gov ) suggests having an emergency supply kit, making a family emergency plan, being informed about emergencies and their appropriate response and getting involved in grassroots community preparedness efforts like Citizen Corps (http://citizencorps.gov). In addition, the Ready Campaign advises having a three day supply of food and water for each person as well as for each pet. Other items suggested for an emergency supply kit include a manual can opener, eating utensils, battery-powered or hand crank radio, NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, extra batteries, flashlight, first aid kit, whistle to signal for help, dust mask, moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation, wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, local maps, any prescription medications and infant formula and diapers. They also recommend having a plan in place to make sure your family can stay in contact when separated during an emergency is important. The Ready Campaign provides free templates to help build a family emergency plan at www.ready.gov .
Q: What is the Citizen Corps?
A: The Citizen Corps was created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Community Preparedness Division to help bring community and government leaders together to coordinate community members and non-governmental resources in emergency preparedness, planning, mitigation, response and recovery. There are more than 2,300 Citizen Corps Councils nationwide spread throughout every state and U.S. territory. These councils work to ensure that when a disaster hits, government and community leaders, first responders, emergency managers, businesses, non-profit and volunteer organizations and other organizations all know what their role is, who to coordinate with, and how to quickly and efficiently get help where it's most needed. To find the closest council, visit http://citizencorps.gov/cc/CouncilMapIndex.do or contact Iowa's state council, the Iowa Disaster Human Resource Council, at http://www.iowahomelandsecurity.org.