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Kentuckians urged to make emergency preparedness their New Year's resolution

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Protect Your

Every year, nearly half of all Americans will make at least one New Year’s resolution. The Kentucky Office of Homeland Security (KOHS) is urging Kentuckians to make a resolution that is both important and easy to keep: to prepare themselves, their families and their businesses for emergencies.

“We want 2007 to be a year when Kentucky’s families and businesses take steps to prepare for emergencies,” said (Ret) Maj. Alecia Webb-Edgington, director of KOHS.  “Emergencies can range from the inconvenient to devastating. But Kentuckians can take some simple steps in advance to minimize their impact on our families and businesses. In this time when so many of us are making resolutions to better our lives, the message of preparedness is truly fitting.”

By visiting or, individuals and businesses can learn how to prepare their families and workplaces for emergencies including natural and man-made disasters.  Materials, including family communication plan templates and sample business continuity plans, are available on the Web site.

In a recent national survey conducted by The Ad Council, 91 percent of Americans agreed that taking some simple steps to prepare could help protect them and their families in the event of an emergency.  However, only 55 percent had taken at least one of the steps recommended by the KOHS’s Avoid the Panic Button: Protect Your Family campaign, including getting an emergency supply kit, making a family emergency plan and getting involved in local citizen corps. or volunteer opportunities.

In a basic emergency supply kit, the Avoid the Panic Button: Protect Your Family campaign recommends including the following:

  • One gallon of water per person per day, for three days – remember to include enough for your pets, too;
  • At least a three-day supply of nonperishable food.  Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no water and choose foods your family will eat: ready-to-eat canned meats, peanut butter, protein or fruit bars, dry cereal or granola.  Also pack a manual can opener and eating utensils;
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both;
  • Flashlight and extra batteries;
  • First aid kit;
  • Whistle to signal for help;
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation;
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities; and
  • Local maps.

Protect Your Family also encourages Kentuckians to think about the special needs of family members:

  • Prescription medications and glasses;
  • Infant formula and diapers;
  • Pet food, extra water for your pet, leash and collar;
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container; and
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children.

For a complete list of items, Kentuckians are encouraged to visit to download a free emergency supply checklist.


The Kentucky Office of Homeland Security has been charged by Gov. Fletcher to lead the commonwealth's coordination and collaboration efforts with public and private preparedness partners to ensure Kentucky is ready and prepared. For more information about homeland security in Kentucky, please visit


Last Updated 1/5/2007