LEAVENWORTH — September, which is recognized as National Preparedness Month, may be winding down. But local emergency officials are urging people to have plans in case of a disaster.
“It is very important for people to have a plan,” Leavenworth County Emergency Management Director Chuck Magaha said. “Emergency situations can occur at any time and we saw that with the tornado that recently stuck our community.”
On May 28, a tornado passed through southern Leavenworth County. County officials estimated the tornado resulted in more than $26 million in damage.
Magaha said people need to think about what they would need to take care of themselves after a disaster.
“We can give them the guidance,” he said, “but they’re the ones that have to react.”
The theme of this year’s National Preparedness Month is “Prepared, Not Scared.”
Todd Farley, chief of Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1, encourages people to review their family plans for emergencies and practice fire escape and evacuation plans.
Farley said evacuation plans should include designated meeting places for family members once they are outside their homes. He said this will help ensure everyone is safely out of a home.
“If you’re unaccounted for, then we’re going to be sending people to look for you,” he said.
Farley and Magaha also recommend preparing a supply kit with items that may be needed for at least 72 hours after an emergency. When preparing a kit, people should keep in mind family members with disabilities as well as pets. People also should not forget about medication they may need.
Farley and Magaha recommend people become involved with local preparedness organizations and efforts.