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Importance of being ready recognized
Commission marks Preparedness Month
new deh tornado update pic web
Being prepared for emergencies, like the tornado that ripped through western Barton County in May, is the reason the County Commission proclaimed September as Preparedness Month 2017. - photo by Tribune file photo

 The Barton County Commission Monday morning approved a proclamation marking September as Preparedness Month 2017.

Emergency Manager Amy Miller said this is a part of National Preparedness Month, an event hosted by the Ready Campaign and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This proclamation encourages individuals, businesses and communities to plan and prepare for an emergency.  

“I’m sure two major hurricanes are prime examples of why we should be prepared,” Miller said, referring to Harvey and Irma, which struck Texas and Florida respectively. Although hurricanes are not a problem here, “there are other ways we can make ourselves prepared.”

With tornadoes, thunderstorms and severe winter weather a concern in Kansas, Miller urged all residents to sign up to receive any and all emergency alerts possible.

The focus for this year’s Preparedness Month includes making an emergency plan for oneself and family, a plan to help neighbors, being sure to practice those plans and to get involved in the community and local organizations. In addition, Miller said it is a good idea to learn CPR and first aid, and learn how to shut off a house’s  water, gas and electric services in case of a disaster.

National Preparedness Month “creates an important opportunity for every resident of Barton County, Kansas, to prepare themselves, families, homes, businesses, and communities for any type of emergency including natural disasters, fires or chemical spills,” the proclamation reads. Investing in the preparedness can reduce fatalities and economic devastation in our communities and neighborhoods.

In addition, this planning is necessary to increase local levels of self-sufficiency and “is a shared effort between individuals, businesses, and government.”  

“Emergency preparedness is the responsibility of every resident of Barton County, and everyone is urged to make preparedness a priority and work together to be prepared for disasters and emergencies of any type,” Miller said. Residents are also encouraged to take action to be ready, stay safe and recover from a disaster.

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the U.S. government has taken steps to encourage preparedness, so September was chosen as National Preparedness Month. Also September has been chosen partly because the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is in mid-September.

Cottonwood Extension District

In other business Monday morning, the Barton County Commission:

• Approved a modified occupation agreement for the Cottonwood Extension District in light of the change in its status to a joint district with Ellis County. The district is housed in the Barton County Office Building at 12th and Kansas, Great Bend. The district asked that the agreement be changed to include the name change and a longer notification period in the event the county determines that a rental fee should be charged. The modified agreement was submitted to local agents for their approval, Operations Director Phil Hathcock said.