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Health department aids in disaster preparedness

LAWRENCEVILLE - Statistics show that disasters kill hundreds and injure thousands every year in the United States, but a few simple precautionary steps can help keep American families safe, according to a press release from the East Metro Health District.

September is Disaster Preparedness Month, and the Gwinnett County Health Department is involved for the third consecutive year with a national campaign to teach disaster awareness to families in every state in the nation.

Local health departments serve as a great resource in disaster preparedness education, and the Gwinnett office is no exception.

Disaster preparedness begins with individuals understanding how to prepare, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the sponsor of the nationwide effort.

Knowing how to prepare for tornadoes, fires or disease outbreaks is only part of the process.

Developing and practicing an emergency plan for the entire family, understanding local warning systems and evacuation routes, knowing who to contact within the community and knowing how to get involved should be part of the preparation process.

Experts also advise having a three- to 14-day disaster supply kit in homes, vehicles and offices.

The East Metro Health District can be reached at by phone at 770-339-4260 or online at www.emhd.com.