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Owen emergency official urges preparedness

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March named Severe Storms Awareness Month

Rick Morgan, Owen County EM director,  reminds Owen County residents that Kentucky is declaring March 2011 as Severe Storms Awareness Month, urging all Kentuckians to be prepared for severe weather.  
If the lights go out, are you prepared?  That is a simple but necessary question that we must all ask ourselves.  
In the event of a power outage, something as simple as having a flashlight, radio and extra batteries available can make you and your family more comfortable.   
Owen County faces many weather related challenges throughout the year — from tornadoes, flooding, and winter storms to man-made hazards.  
Every household should be prepared to face these challenges at any given time. In May 2010, Owen County experienced unprecedented flooding and many families are still rebuilding from flash floods that struck in July. And who will forget the January 2009 ice storm that left over 700,000 homes without power and over 200,000 homes were without water for days and weeks.  
In the event of large-scale disasters, the government may be unable to respond immediately.
Morgan urged, “Be prepared. You should have a three-day supply of food and water for each member of your family, along with essentials such as:  medicines, flashlights, radio, extra batteries, matches, candles, first aid supplies, etc.”  
Along with an emergency kit, you should have an emergency plan.
Be Aware:  Know in advance your weather forecasts; Own a battery backup NOAA Weather Alert Radio and battery (or crank) operated AM/FM radio for local broadcasts; Stay tuned to your local broadcasting stations; Discuss conditions with family members and know their location during times of potentially threatening conditions.  
Be Prepared:  Discuss your plan with family members and neighbors;  Review your plan periodically for necessary updates; Refresh your emergency kit(s);
Drill: practice your plan with household members. If you own a generator, read and familiarize yourself with the owner’s safety manual before ever attempting to use it.  Have written instructions for how to turn off electricity, gas and water if authorities advise you to do so; Remember, you’ll need a professional to turn them back on. Identify safe locations within your residence and shelters.