KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – “Be prepared” is more than a youth organization motto. It’s a theme lived daily by two Klamath County government departments.

Emergency Management is a division of the Sheriff’s Office that seeks to build and protect resilience in communities. This happens by coordinating local, state, and federal emergency response agencies to offset hazards and prepare for, respond to, and recover from imminent or actual disasters.

In the last several months, the department has provided logistical support for Klamath County Public Health (KCPH) in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis. This includes receiving and distributing personal protective equipment to emergency responders and medical facilities.

Meanwhile, KCPH has led the charge on the pandemic, which is part of its work in public health emergency preparedness. The coronavirus case investigations are nothing new for the department, as the work is part of communicable disease response offered every day here.

Both departments promote the themes of September as Emergency Preparedness Month, including:

  • Make a plan — Talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster. Make sure to update your plan based on the Centers for Disease Control recommendations due to the coronavirus.
  • Create a kit — Gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home.  Don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly. Update your kits and supplies based on recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control.
  • Prepare for disasters — Limit the impacts that disasters have on you and your family.  Know the risk of disasters in your area and check your insurance coverage. Learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms and other common hazards and act fast if you receive a local warning or alert.
  • Teach youth about preparedness — Talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved.

However, Emergency Management leads the way in preparing for disasters, such as the potential damage caused by a Cascadia earthquake event. Much of the information for overall preparedness in this respect comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

KCPH follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to help the community “prep your health” by having resources for personal needs, such as food and water, ample supplies of prescription medications, electronic copies of paperwork including vaccination records, and know practical skills such as first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

To learn more about emergency management preparedness, visit www.ready.gov/september. The CDC prep your health site is www.cdc.gov/prepyourhealth.

Both Emergency Management and KCPH are proud partners of local citizens in promoting local health and safety.