September is 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."

The proclamation 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."

"National Preparedness Month is geared towards building awareness and encouraging all Americans to plan and prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, places of worship and especially our schools," said Mark Nalesnik, Carbon County Emergency Management Agency coordinator. "We take this month every year nationally and bring forth all components to be prepared for emergencies."

Families should create kits that would help them survive for 72 hours if they are without power, water or trapped in their homes, Nalesnik added.

Kits can include items like bottled water; drink mix packets; snacks; can opener; canned goods; disposable utensils, plates and cups; paper towels; flashlights with batteries; duct tape; emergency blanket; garbage bags; tarp; stationary; crayons; playing cards; activity books; notebooks; address book; first aid kit; hand sanitizer; ponchos; whistle; lighter; and personal hygiene products.

It should also be tailored to each person in the family. Kits for pets should also be made and kept up-to-date.

Checklists for creating an emergency kit are available at www.ready.gov [1] and www.readyPA.org [2].

In addition, the Carbon County Emergency Response Team (CERT) will hold training beginning on Sept. 9. CERT trains ordinary citizens to help themselves and others in disasters

For more information on the program, CERT will be at the Palmerton Community Festival this weekend or you can call the Carbon County EMA at (570) 325-3097.

In recent years, Pennsylvania has seen numerous emergency situations, from an earthquake that rattled the East Coast; to Hurricane Irene, which brought heavy rain, gusty winds and power outages as it cruised up the coast, to strong thunderstorm cells that moved through the area, causing much damage and many power outages in parts of the coverage area.