Planning and preparedness can save lives

Published 9:00 am Saturday, September 23, 2017

Emergency response agencies in Winchester-Clark County spent some time this week conducting an exercise to gauge the county’s preparedness for particular emergency situations.

The exercise conducted Wednesday included 100 people from the community who ran through the Community Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program’s (CSEPP) annual preparedness exercise.

This particular exercise aims to train first responders and other local officials how to respond if there was a chemical weapons leak at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Madison County.

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The depot is one of only two remaining sites where the U.S. chemical weapons stockpile has been stored for demilitarization. In the event of a leak at the depot, Madison County residents may be required to evacuate to surrounding counties, including Clark County.

Along with this exercise, responders were also able to practice using a drone as a method of gaining perspective in an emergency situation and new ways of communicating through social media.

Practicing and preparing for emergencies, like this one, year after year is important. While we have been lucky to avoid any major natural or other types of disasters in Winchester-Clark County recently, tragedy can strike at any time. Being prepared can save lives.

Preparedness is important not only for first responders but for everyday people.

We should all take action to prepare! We are all able to help first responders in our community by training how to respond to an emergency and what to do when disaster strikes — where we live, work and visit.

September is National Preparedness Month, which is aimed at raising awareness and providing tips about how to be prepared for emergencies of various kinds.

Preparedness can be as easy as creating a kit in your home with extra food, water and supplies and communicating plans with your family about where to meet and how to communicate in the case of an emergency.

There is a plethora of information about preparedness and National Preparedness Month at We urge you to take some time this month to learn about how you can be better prepared and then spread the word to a friend, family member, coworker or neighbor. Creating and communicating these plans with the people who spend time with week after week can ensure you are all ready and on the same page when disaster strikes.

Don’t wait until it is too late.