Gov. Kim Reynolds has proclaimed September as Preparedness Month in Iowa.
“This past summer’s severe weather and flooding are a reminder that disasters can, and do, happen in our state and that is why I have proclaimed September as Preparedness Month in Iowa,” said Reynolds. “I am asking Iowans to take steps now to prepare themselves, their families, their places of business, and their communities for any emergency.”
“While our department’s job is ensuring that Iowa and Iowans are prepared and ready to respond to emergencies and disasters, during Preparedness Month we want to highlight the importance of personal preparedness,” said Joyce Flinn, acting director of the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD). “Through preparedness planning activities, citizens can rest easy knowing they’ve done everything possible to survive emergencies and disasters.”
Preparedness Month is sponsored each year by HSEMD, the Iowa Emergency Management Association (IEMA), the Safeguard Iowa Partnership (SIP), and the National Weather Service (NWS). This year, the Iowa Insurance Division is joining Preparedness Month sponsors to highlight the importance of flood insurance.
During Preparedness Month, Iowans are urged to take simple steps to ensure they, their families, and their places of business are prepared. Those steps are making an emergency plan, building an emergency kit, and being aware of hazards in their area. More information on these simple steps can be found on the Ready Iowa website. Another important component of emergency preparedness is making sure homes and businesses are properly insured. Find more information on insurance on the Iowa Insurance Division website.
Scott Hansen, president of IEMA, said that while local emergency managers help to ensure responders in each county are ready for emergencies and disasters, citizens have a role to play, too. “Disasters begin and end in our neighborhoods and home towns,” said Hansen. “It’s important that citizens take responsibility for their own preparedness.”
Preparedness Month is the perfect time for employers to make sure they have an emergency plan, according to SIP Executive Director Dutch Geisinger. “The creation of an emergency plan for your business or family sounds like an overwhelming task to many people but, in fact, there are a number of free resources available to help you get started,” Geisinger said.
Allan Curtis, meteorologist National Weather Service Forecast Office in Des Moines, stresses that now is the time to develop and practice a plan before severe weather strikes. “Knowing what action to take at home, work, school, in a vehicle and places in between could save your life when severe weather threatens. Planning and preparing for the impacts of weather is critical to building a Weather-Ready Nation.”
Iowa’s Preparedness Month is held in conjunction with National Preparedness Month, which was created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States to educate the public on how to prepare for emergencies.
For more information on Preparedness Month sponsors, visit their websites:
- Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management
- Iowa Emergency Management Association
- Safeguard Iowa Partnership
- National Weather Service (Des Moines)
- National Weather Service (Quad Cities)
- National Weather Service (Sioux Falls, S.D.)
- National Weather Service (La Crosse, Wis.)
- National Weather Service (Omaha, Neb.)
The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management leads, coordinates and supports homeland security and emergency management functions in order to establish sustainable communities and ensure economic opportunities for Iowa and its citizens.