No one expects to be impacted by natural or man-made disasters, but when these circumstances occur, it’s vitally important to be prepared. September is Preparedness Month in Indiana, providing Hoosiers an opportunity to be prepared should disaster strike.

Preparedness Month is a statewide effort to raise public awareness about the importance of disaster preparation. Many Indiana agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, American Red Cross, and local public safety departments collaborate every day to keep Hoosiers safe. However, there are things you and your family can do to further prepare yourselves for unexpected emergencies.

It begins with asking yourself a simple question: Could you and your family survive after a major disaster without access to transportation or major utilities? Do you have at least three days-worth of essential items such as food and water, medications, baby formula and other special needs items?

The time to prepare for a disaster is before it happens.

By assembling a disaster kit, your family can be prepared for the worst. For three days, one person needs at least three gallons of water. Various food items that require no preparation or refrigeration such as protein bars, canned meats, dry cereal, peanut butter and crackers are also essential. A hand-crank or battery operated radio can keep you informed if telecommunication lines are down. First-aid kits can prevent a minor injury from becoming more serious.

In the Hoosier state, we’ve become all too familiar with tornadoes, snow and severe storms.

Indiana suffered from major flood damage across the state this summer. Millions of dollars in crop losses occurred and many people became trapped in their homes or vehicles because of high water.

However, local, state, and federal agencies are taking preventative measure to ensure future flood damage is minimized.

A flood mitigation project, which was recently announced by Governor Mike Pence, will purchase and demolish 18 flood-prone structures in the Junk and Fairfield Ditch areas of our community. Funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Maumee River Basin Commission, the project is a decade-long effort to protect property and residents from floods.

These kinds of collaborative projects can save lives, but it’s still important that you and your family take steps to be prepared in the event of an emergency.

I encourage you to check out the Indiana Department of Homeland Security’s website at for more information and preparedness tips.

As always, I welcome your thoughts and ideas concerning these and other topics. My office can be reached at 800-382-9467 or by email at

David Long - IN Dist. 16 Senator

David is a former Republican member of the Indiana State Senate representing the 16th district which encompasses Waynedale. He served as the President Pro Tempore of the Indiana State Senate. David writes the "Straight From The Senate" column for the newspaper. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer