September is officially National Preparedness Month in Carbon County.

On Thursday, the commissioners adopted the proclamation proclaiming September as the month to "increase public awareness about the importance of preparing for emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks."

County solicitor Michael Ozalas read the proclamation before it was adopted.

It states, "National Preparedness Month is a nationwide coordinated effort sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their home, business, and schools ... Personal preparedness is paramount to effectively reacting to the effects of a disaster and it is vital that Americans take steps to prepare for emergencies at home, work or school.

"The Ready Campaign and the Department's Citizen Corps program will be working to promote events and activities that will encourage individuals to get an emergency supply kit, make a family emergency plan and be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses.

"The Carbon County Board of Commissioners, do hereby proclaim the month of September as National Emergency Preparedness Month in Carbon County and encourage county residents to: make a plan, get a kit, be informed, and get involved."

Commissioner William O'Gurek, chairman, noted that the Carbon County Emergency Management Agency and 911 Communications Center, located on the Broad Mountain in Nesquehoning, will be hosting an open house on Thursday, Sept. 23, from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m., in recognition of National Preparedness Month. The event is open to the public.

In a related matter, O'Gurek discussed an e-mail the county received from an out-of-area family who found themselves to be lost in the area of Mauch Chunk Lake Park.

The family called the communications center and through the help of the new GPS coordinate mapping system the county is using; the dispatcher was able to locate the family, contact the park rangers and give them an exact location based on the cell phone call.

The family thanked the county for the service and for the professional manner of the dispatcher, Ray Bossard.