ZANESVILLE, Ohio — September is National Preparedness Month and the Muskingum Co. Office of Emergency Management wants people to be prepared. Not just in September, EMA Director Jeff Jadwin says, but as what FEMA has determined this month is preparedness month. He says we’re coming up into winter storms and such, and hurricane season for part of the country, so we need to be very congizant of what’s going on around us and be prepared.
“Be prepared, whether it’s preparing our home, preparing our to-go bags. You know, making sure that we get all the weather alerts, whether it’s from the TV stations, our reverse 911 system, the National Weather Service, we need to be prepared for what might be coming in the — today, tomorrow, the next few months.”
Jadwin says there is a reverse 9-1-1 system in place and the Muskingum Co. EMA has adopted IPAWS, or the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System, run through FEMA. Jadwin says his local agency had to get federal permission to implement that through Zanesville’s system to serve people passing through town, like Interstate 70 travelers. It’s a local system that we pay for each year out of EMA money to provide that service to our citizens, he says.
“We need to consider what all we need to prepare for an event. It’s not just us and our kids. We have to consider our pets, our neighbors, an elderly gentleman or woman who can’t care for themselves may need your help when bad weather is coming or they don’t get the alert and you need to let them know that something’s coming.”
The Muskingum County Office of Emergency Management operates forty-four tornado sirens and expects to add five more within about six to nine months.