DHH encourages emergency planning - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

DHH encourages emergency planning

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BATON ROUGE, La. (KALB News Channel 5) National Preparedness Month reminds Louisianians to be prepared.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is teaming up with the faith-based community to deliver the message of preparedness during September, which is National Preparedness Month.

Louisiana is in the heart of hurricane season, which serves as a constant reminder of the importance of being prepared. During upcoming worship services, Louisiana's priests, ministers, rabbis, imams and religious leaders will encourage their congregations to take the opportunity to update their disaster plans and prepare their families, homes and businesses. If a disaster strikes, DHH said it is important that Louisiana residents have an emergency plan, as well as supplies and necessities to last at least three days.

"It's critical that everyone have an extra supply of their prescription medications, copies of their insurance cards and a designated place to go in case their forced to evacuate," said Louisiana State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry. "Everyone needs to be prepared. This means having an emergency plan, storing an emergency kit and staying informed of alerts or messages from local emergency officials."

"We have been blessed so far this hurricane season, but September is National Preparedness Month and we are reminded that we should always be prepared for emergencies," said Bishop Robert Muench, Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge. "Each of us is asked to be ready for any disaster possibility by having emergency back-up supplies, staying informed, having a "game plan" for such occurrences and getting involved to help others who might need assistance."

DHH recommends that families take any special medical needs of their family members into consideration when planning for emergencies. Families should consider if anyone in their household is electricity dependent when deciding if they should leave or if they should stay during an emergency.

DHH also encourages residents to stay informed about emergencies that could happen in their community and to identify sources of information that will be helpful before, during and after an emergency. Families should also have emergency preparedness kits that include important documents, food and water for the household and its pets and other things a family may need in the event of a disaster.

This month, DHH is participating in events statewide aimed at helping Louisianians stay prepared. Being prepared can mean the difference between life and death. DHH said residents can learn more on how to be ready for the next disaster by visiting www.getagameplan.org/, www.ready.gov/  or http://www.dhh.la.gov/index.cfm/subhome/24/n/290.

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