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Public Health - News

Posted on: September 27, 2022

This National Preparedness Month, JCPH encourages residents to take action before disasters happen

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Jefferson County, Colo. – During National Preparedness Month, observed annually in September, Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) wants to remind Jeffco community members to stay organized and ready in case of a sudden disaster or emergency event. Emergency events in our county can range from natural events like wildfires or flooding, to manmade events like cyber-attacks or active shooters, to facility/technology failures like power outages or water/sewage failures. It’s important to get ready before a crisis happens.

In the last 10 years, the Jefferson County community has been affected by one flood, six wildfires, four infectious disease outbreaks and one global pandemic. Looking towards the future means learning from the past. National Preparedness Month’s 2022 theme is “A Lasting Legacy [external link].” By preparing for disasters, Jeffco residents can create a lasting legacy for themselves and their families. 

JCPH’s Emergency Preparedness Team wants to help you protect your legacy by learning how to get ready, take action and recover during and after a disaster event.

  • One of the first things you can do to prepare is to make a plan [external link]. Take time to talk with your family about how you can prepare before a disaster occurs. Come up with a clear evacuation plan, decide how you’ll contact each other if separated and create a shelter-in-place kit. Some things to consider when making a plan are: 
    • The ages and needs of different members within your household. Who is responsible for assisting who? Does anyone have medical needs, such as prescriptions or equipment, that need to be gathered in case of an evacuation?
    • Are there pets in your home? Who is responsible for their well-being?
    • If separated, establish a family meeting place that is familiar and easy to access.
    • When creating a shelter-in-place kit, make sure to include water, non-perishable food, a first-aid kit and more. Find information on building a disaster kit [external link].
  • Stay informed so you know how to protect yourself and your family. In Jeffco, LookoutAlert Regional Emergency notifications allow the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office to warn citizens of danger. LookoutAlert can be used to call, text or email individuals to warn of floods, fires, dangerous suspects or chemical spills. Sign up for LookoutAlert today [external link]. To receive updates through a federal program, download the FEMA app or learn more about their text messaging services [external link]. 
  • Additionally, you can sign up for Smart911, a free service that provides dispatchers with information about yourself, your family, your residence and even your pet. Smart911 delivers the information to a dispatcher automatically – enabling responders to be better prepared to assist you when they arrive at an emergency scene. Learn how you can sign up for Smart911 [external link].
  • When a disaster event occurs, take action. Stay calm and take time to think. Monitor social media outlets, such as Twitter, or local news broadcasts, for official information and instructions. In case of evacuation, grab your emergency kit and find a safe place of temporary shelter. Remember your emergency plan and execute.

“JCPH is partnering with other agencies and reminding the Jeffco community that they can be their own hero in the case of an emergency. Sometimes first responders can be overwhelmed with the number of households to help, so it’s important to be empowered to take care of yourself and your loved ones, if need be,” said Christine Billings, Emergency Preparedness and Infection Disease Director at JCPH. “Getting ready and taking action to prepare for a disaster builds resiliency within the community. It helps our community recover from the event more efficiently.”

While you can’t predict when a disaster event happens, you can take the steps to prepare for the worst. Protect your family and their legacy by staying ready.

To learn more about emergency preparedness efforts at JCPH, please visit our website. In addition, Jeffco community members can access education and resources around emergency preparedness at:

About Jefferson County Public Health

Public health is what we do collectively to prevent illness and premature death and promote health in our neighborhoods and communities. Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is a nationally accredited health department committed to promoting and protecting health across the lifespan for all people through prevention, education and partnerships. To learn more about JCPH visit https://www.jeffco.us/public-health. You can also follow JCPH on Twitter @JeffcoPH [external link], Instagram @JeffcoPH [external link] and Facebook @jeffcopublichealth [external link].

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