WOOD RIVER — September is National Preparedness Month, an opportunity to remind residents to be ready for emergencies.
Madison County Health Department has committed to increase preparedness. The event, in its 11th year, is a nationwide effort hosted by the Ready Campaign, www.ready.gov; and Citizen Corps, www.ready.gov/citizen-corps, encouraging households, businesses and communities to prepare and plan for emergencies.
A key message is to be prepared to be self-reliant for three days without utilities, electricity, water service, access to a supermarket or services, or response from emergency personnel.
Preparing can start with four steps:
1. Build an emergency supply kit
2. Make a plan for what to do in an emergency and how you will contact loved ones or where to meet.
3. Be informed about emergencies that could happen in your community and identify sources of information before, during and after an emergency
4. Get involved
Ready.gov offers lists and templates for what to include in a kit and plan. They also have information about how to help specific populations prepare such as children, senior citizens and the disabled.
Become a volunteer
The health department is offering residents an opportunity to become a volunteer with the Medical Reserve Corps. The agency will host a volunteer orientation training session from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 28, at the Madison County Health Department, 101 E. Edwardsville Road, Wood River. Topics include Madison County MRC, Public Health 101, Incident Command System, Strategic National Stockpile and Family Preparedness. To attend, contact Madison County Medical Reserve Corps Volunteer Coordinator Cathy Paone at (618) 296-6096 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Advanced registration is required to attend and seating is limited. There is an opportunity for everyone to help and no medical experience is necessary.
“Preparing for the public health consequences of disasters leads to enhanced resiliency in the days, weeks and months afterward,” a health department press release states. “Madison County Health Department takes its responsibility to protect its citizens very seriously, especially during a disaster affecting the public’s health. But we recognize that we cannot do it alone. That is why the Madison County Health Department continues to build its Medical Reserve Corps. Currently, our MRC is 284 volunteers strong, but we will need many more volunteers for a county of our size.”
Madison County Medical Reserve Corps is part of the Gateway Volunteer Network, a collaborative effort to bring people volunteering for public health emergencies together into one group to increase communication and build a stronger network of volunteers. Visit www.facebook.com/gatewayvolunteernetwork for information and click on the Learn More Save Lives tab to sign up for information about volunteer opportunities.
For information about Madison County Medical Reserve Corps, visit www.madisonchd.org and click on the MRC tab.