OPINION

Health and Wellness: Be prepared

Ann Cochran - Dallas County Health Department
Special to Dallas County News and Perry Chief
An outdoor warning siren in Perry.

As any good scout knows, we should always be prepared. September is Preparedness Month, a good time to plan what to do “just in case.”

Nonprofit organizations such as the American Red Cross and Salvation Army help persons experiencing house fires, storm damage and other personal losses. These agencies also educate individuals and groups on prevention and appropriate response to unavoidable disasters. Dallas County Health Navigation can help you connect to these resources.

Our local Dallas County Emergency Management Department maintains an Emergency Operations Center, where planning and training ensure timely warnings, and responses to severe weather, hazardous material spills, power outages and more.

By partnering with national and state partners, our Emergency Management Department is equipped to help you prepare and respond. Many folks rely on outdoor sirens or TV announcements of emergency situations. Additionally, the updated Rave Alert and Smart 911 systems can provide you with weather and emergency alerts. Quickly enroll at www.dallascountyiowa.gov/government/public-safety/emergency-management.

Concerning your personal preparedness, check if you do the following:

  • Habitually keep your cellphone charged.
  • Store important documents and some cash in a safe, accessible place.
  • Designate a meeting place if separated during a disaster.
  • Donate blood regularly so our local blood bank is well supplied