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Tennesseeans urged to plan ahead for emergencies

 

September is National Preparedness Month

Tennessee Department of Health Nashville, TN – It’s time for Tennessee to get ready. Throughout the month of September 2010, the seventh annual National Preparedness Month focuses on encouraging Americans to work together to take concrete actions toward being prepared in the event of an emergency.

The Tennessee Department of Health is highlighting volunteer service and continuing to recruit and register public health volunteers across the state.

“Recent flooding across the state serves as a reminder that emergencies can happen anytime and anywhere,” said Health Commissioner Susan R. Cooper, MSN, RN. “The best way to make sure you and your family will be safe during an emergency is to be prepared before disaster strikes.”

Intersection of Riverside Drive and Crossland Avenue during the flood.

Intersection of Riverside Drive and Crossland Avenue during the flood.

Being ready is ensuring that everyone is prepared to respond to, recover from and rebuild from any major incident – whether it’s an influenza pandemic, catastrophic tornado or flood, or extended power outage. TDOH encourages families to check their emergency kits to be sure they include survival essentials and basic supplies such as:

  • At least a three-day supply of bottled water and non-perishable food
  • Essential Medications
  • Personal hygiene supplies
  • First aid kits
  • Battery operated weather radio
  • Important family documents (copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records)

Families should also review their personal emergency plans for both staying home in an emergency and for evacuation. These plans should include information about where to go in the event of an emergency and who to contact to make sure all family members are safe.

First Aid KitThe Department of Health is dedicated to readiness to respond to any emergency situation. As part of this month-long observance, TDOH is recruiting helping hands to volunteer in the event that a public health emergency should arise. TDOH uses the Tennessee Volunteer Mobilizer and regional Medical Reserve Corps units to build a network of medical and non-medical volunteers to support the public health workforce.

Registered volunteers will be called upon to assist with tasks such as dispensing medications or staffing phone lines if a major public health emergency should arise. All volunteers will be trained for each assigned task, and personnel with all types of skills and/or credentials from doctors and nurses to general volunteers are needed.

“National Preparedness Month is a prime opportunity to get involved, and remind Tennesseans that the need for the public to be prepared continues,” emphasized Cooper.  “The public is an essential member of our emergency management team and their preparedness is critical to our success.”

To become a volunteer, register online at http://health.state.tn.us/volunteer/than_volunteer.htm indicating your volunteer preferences, skills, licenses and certification. By entering and keeping your contact information current, you will be automatically notified in the event of an emergency.
 
Tennessee Volunteer Mobilizer (TNVM)The TVM is a Web-based system designed to serve as a single, centralized source of information to ease the intra-state, state-to-state and state-to-federal deployment or transfer of volunteer health professionals and other volunteers. TVM gives Tennessee the ability to quickly identify and assist in the coordination of volunteers in an emergency.

The MRC, housed in the Office of the United States Surgeon General, is a national network of community-based volunteer units. MRC recruitment supports existing local agencies throughout the year with preparedness and response activities. MRC volunteers are registered and deployed through TVM and are involved in organized efforts at the local level.

Ready AmericaNational Preparedness Month is sponsored by the Ready Campaign in partnership with Citizen Corps and the Advertising Council. NPM is held each September to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities.

For more information about National Preparedness Month or to find emergency preparedness events happening across Tennessee, visit www.ready.gov/america/npm10/index.html.


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