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posted: 9/12/2011 12:01 AM

Use anniversary of 9/11 to get prepared

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In conjunction with the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security has designated September as National Preparedness Month. On the heels of Hurricane Irene, the East Coast earthquake, and this year's tornadoes in Tuscaloosa and Joplin, these events serve as critical reminders about the importance of preparedness.

National Preparedness Month encourages citizens to prepare themselves and their families to deal with an emergency or disaster situations. As in past years, Palatine Mayor Jim Schwantz recently signed a formal proclamation declaring September as National Preparedness Month.

This is the eight annual NPM, which is sponsored by the Ready Campaign in partnership with Citizen Corps and the Ad Council. This year's slogan is: "A Time to Remember. A Time to Prepare."

During National Preparedness Month, the Palatine Emergency Management Agency encourages individuals, families, and communities, including the private and nonprofit sectors, to do their part before an emergency.

It is vitally important that everyone take time to prepare an emergency supply kit and a family emergency plan, and to educate themselves about potential disasters in their community. Besides preparing yourselves and family, everyone is encouraged to work within their own communities to coordinate with their local emergency management agency preparedness efforts. It is each individual's responsibility to make sure they are prepared and we must all work together to safeguard our community from harm.

The Palatine EMA/Citizen Corps educates, trains and coordinates volunteer activities that help make our communities safer and better prepared.

You are encouraged to:

• Prepare an emergency supplies kit.

• Plan in advance what you and your family will do in an emergency.

• Prepare a family Communications Plan.

• Learn more about different threats that could affect you, your family and community.

• Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio.

• Take the free CERT Training conducted by Palatine EMA and Citizen Corps.

DHS has dedicated a website to assist you in your preparedness initiatives. You can find it at or look for more information on our EMA website at

"Be Safe, Be Prepared."

Tom Smith, coordinator

Palatine Emergency Management Agency