Callaway County Emergency Management promotes emergency prep

Emily O'Leary/Fulton Sun Attendees listen to Brown's presentation about Community Organizations Active in Disaster. Callaway County Emergency Management was the speaker at the Sept. Callaway Resource Network meeting.

September is National Preparedness Month, and Callaway County Emergency Management emphasizes the importance of preparing for an emergency or disaster.

At the Callaway Resource Network meeting Thursday, Callaway County Emergency Management volunteer coordinator Tina Brown highlighted the importance of having Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD) in Callaway County.

Brown defined COAD as a collection of organizations and businesses "to help coordinate emergency human services."

"Basically, you're planning for the worst day in someone's life to make it better," Brown said.

Brown said having a COAD in Callaway County "can help make the community feel safer, stronger and more prepared to respond to and recover from a disaster."

Per Brown, organizations that should consider being a part of the COAD include non-governmental organizations, community organizations like Boy and Girl Scouts and businesses.

Organizations interested in being involved with the Callaway County COAD can contact Callaway County Emergency Management at 573-592-2480.

Individuals in Callaway County should also prepare for the event of an emergency or disaster.

Michelle Kidwell, director at Callaway County Emergency Management, said residents can sign up for Smart911, which will send alerts in the event of an emergency in the county. Additionally, individuals can set up a profile to include important information to help in responding to an emergency.

"If you dial 911 from any phone linked in that system, your information will automatically pop-up in the 911 center," Kidwell said, adding the information is only available to first responders.

Smart911 is free for Callaway County residents. Signup for the program can be completed on the Callaway County Emergency Management Agency website.