Carroll County Times
Carroll County Times Opinion

Safe Kids: Fun, educational ways to prepare for emergencies

September is National Preparedness Month. You can protect yourself, your family, and your community by being ready for the kinds of hazards we may have in Carroll County like hurricanes, floods, and winter storms.

There are fun, free, and educational ways you can get your kids, grandchildren, and the whole family ready for an emergency. There are lots of resources you can use, and local events you can attend, to find out more about emergency preparedness.


Come out to the free Emergency Preparedness Expo, on Saturday, Sept. 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Carroll County Office Building Parking Lot, 225 N. Center Street in Westminster. Learn more about how to be prepared; visit vendors; watch great demonstrations from police, fire, and EMS; win raffle prizes, and enjoy a lot of other family-friendly activities.

For general emergency preparedness information, visit You can find great resources to help kids prepare for emergencies and some fun emergency preparedness activities for kids at and at


You can help yourself, your family, and your whole community prepare by getting a flu shot. Flu vaccination can reduce illness, doctors’ visits, and missed school and work due to flu. It can also prevent flu-related hospital stays and helps to prevent the spread of illness to others.

Flu vaccination is especially important for people at high risk of serious complications from the flu, including older people, very young children, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions. Get a flu shot after Oct. 1, this is the best way to be sure you will be protected for the whole flu season, which can last into the spring.

For more information about the flu, what you can do to prevent it, and where you can get a flu shot visit the Health Department’s flu page at

A few tips for how you can prepare your family and your home for emergencies:

  • Stay informed about the weather by listening to local TV or radio stations.
  • Build or restock your emergency kit. Include a flashlight, radio, water, batteries, non-perishable food, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power. Sending text messages is usually reliable and faster than making phone calls.
  • Review your evacuation plan with your family.
  • Keep your car’s gas tank full; stock your vehicle with emergency supplies and a change of clothes.

Need a little help to get prepared? Download the free Prepare Me Carroll app from the Carroll County Department of Public Safety. It has an interactive emergency kit checklist, weather information from the National Weather Service linked to your location, and a push notification feature for urgent information. The app is available in both Apple and Google app stores.

For more tips to help your family prepare for emergencies, visit