Get Ready and Be Ready: National Preparedness Month is Here

Join us and more than 3,000 organizations – national, regional, and local public and private organizations – that are supporting emergency preparedness efforts and encouraging all Americans to take action. Join the effort! Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site for “Emergency Preparedness and Response” and follow these four steps:

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Every preparedness kit may vary. Some useful items to include are: first aid kits, flashlights, batteries, pocket knives, duct tape, compass, glow sticks, and more.

September 2014 marks the eleventh annual National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the US Department of Homeland Security. One goal of Homeland Security is to educate the public about how to prepare for emergencies, including natural disasters, mass casualties, biological and chemical threats, radiation emergencies, and terrorist attacks.

 

In collaboration with the American Red Cross, CDC’s Web site, Emergency Preparedness and You identifies and answers common questions about preparing for unexpected events, including:

The Emergency Preparedness and Response offers additional information and resources under topics such as hurricane preparedness, extreme heat, and bioterrorism. CDC continually updates information on recent outbreaks and incidents, and lists emergency resources for the general public as well as for clinicians and public health professionals.

Get an Emergency Kit

If disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water, or electricity for some time. By taking time now to prepare emergency water supplies, food supplies and a disaster supplies kit, you can provide for your entire family.

Review the items recommended for a disaster supplies kit or print the Homeland Security Emergency Supply checklist.

Make an Emergency Plan

Make plans with your family and friends in case you’re not together during an emergency. Discuss how you’ll contact each other, where you’ll meet, and what you’ll do in different situations. Read how to develop a family disaster plan or fill out the Homeland Security Family Emergency Plan.

Ask about planning at your workplace and your child’s school or daycare center. The US Department of Education gives guidelines for school preparedness. Workers at small, medium, and large businesses should practice for emergencies of all kinds. See Ready Business for more information.

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Be Informed

Being prepared means staying informed. Check all types of media – Web sites, newspapers, radio, TV, mobile and land phones – for global, national and local information. During an emergency, your local Emergency Management or Emergency Services office will give you information on such things as open shelters and evacuation orders. Check Ready.gov community and state information to learn about resources in your community.

Get Involved

Look into taking first aid and emergency response training, participating in community exercises, and volunteering to support local first responders. Contact Citizens Corps, which coordinates activities to make communities safer, stronger and better prepared to respond to an emergency situation. Contact the Medical Reserve Corps, (MRC). MRC are community-based units and function as a way to locally organize and utilize volunteers who want to donate their time and expertise to prepare for and respond to emergencies and promote healthy living throughout the year.

Homeland Security promotes emergency preparedness all year round via the Ready America campaign. Checklists, brochures, and videos are available in English and in Spanish online and by phone (1-800-BE-READY and 1-888-SE-LISTO).

September is National Preparedness Month

September of 2014 marks the tenth annual National Preparedness Month, and the City of Cleveland Office of Emergency Management (OEM) would like to remind everyone to be as prepared as possible for all hazards.  Since last year’s National Preparedness Month, OEM has been working hard both in responding to local emergencies and in preparing for various large-scale, pre-planned events.

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Turn around, don’t drown

No one will soon forget the harsh weather conditions of the “Polar Vortex” from last winter.  During this time, OEM worked with the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the American Red Cross and other partners in coordinating shelters for many residents, while at the same time tracking medical transports, reports of busted pipes, and other data useful in effectively responding to the extreme cold.

During the past year, OEM worked with the City’s Department of Aging to provide preparedness kits to seniors, and collaborated with many partners in organizing safe and successful events such as marathons, parades and the 2014 Gay Games.

On a more individual level, the disaster most likely to impact anyone is a house fire. All the preparation in the world may not save your house, but it will improve your chances of survival.  Following some basic steps, like developing a fire escape plan, practicing it with your family, designating a meeting place outside, and checking your fire alarms can make all the difference.

Whether you are preparing for a house fire or a wide scale disaster, the following websites can provide you with very important information:

http://www.ready.gov/september

http://www.redcross.org/prepare/nationalpreparednessmonth

During this year’s National Preparedness Month, the City of Cleveland’s Office of Emergency Management asks that you take the time to prepare yourself, and your family, for an emergency situation.  If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact our office at 216-664-7171.

Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed

Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed

Update: The Continuing Effort to Reduce False Alarms

A properly installed alarm system provides enhanced safety and security and is an effective deterrent to criminal activity

In 2013, Cleveland police responded to 23,890 alarm assignments. Fortunately for property owners, 97.5 percent of all responses were to false alarms. Unfortunately for the community, valuable police resources were misused handling unnecessary alarms. During the 5-year period between 2009 and 2013, Cleveland police officers responded to 119,288 alarm assignments. Responding officers found no evidence of criminal or attempted criminal activity in 97.42 percent of those responses.

A Continuing Trend

During the first six months of 2014, police responded to 11,584 alarm assignments. The frequency of false alarms continued with 98.55 percent of those alarm assignments proving to be false.  Nearly 1 in 10 police dispatches for service are for an alarm assignment where most turn out to be false. While police respond to these false alarms, citizens with legitimate safety needs have to sit and wait.

False Alarm Responses January 1 through June 30, 2014

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The Solution

I continue to have open and active dialogue with alarm companies, Cleveland Police, City Council Safety Chairman Matt Zone and the rest of the members of City Council to identify a solution that meets the needs of all parties involved. We remain committed to making the best use of our police resources and meeting the needs and expectations of our citizens and businesses.

—- Martin L. Flask, Executive Assistant to the Mayor for Special Projects