Editorial: Preparedness is necessary for all Minnesotans

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 28, 2005

With the heavy rains last Saturday and Sunday, plenty of Freeborn County residents were probably asking themselves if we had a repeat of last September’s floods on our hands.

While it didn’t quite amount to last year’s totals, it should have sparked the question of preparedness in many of our minds.

Officially, September was designated National Preparedness Month. The initiative is designed to remind everyone that preparedness is a personal responsibility, too.

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Minnesota city, county and state governments have invested in equipment and training to maintain the security of state borders and assets. But all-hazards readiness takes place at the grassroots level.

Floods, fires tornadoes, chemical spills and crippling weather are threats we face most often, so we all need to prepare for these and other types of emergencies.

To be ready for anything, people need to get a kit, make a plan, be informed and get involved.

A kit includes basic survival elements like fresh water and food for up to three days. Blankets, matches, battery-operated radios, lights and tools should be assembled and kept close by.

Families should have a plan which includes escape routes, meeting places and ways to stay in touch during emergencies.

Staying informed means monitoring developing situations and following instructions from agencies or the government.

And getting involved can mean taking first aid training or becoming a first responder.

There’s no rule that states people have to do this in one month of a year. We certainly hope people take the time &045; sometime &045; to become prepared and at least think about a survival plan.

We all need to be prepared for anything.