Upshur County Commissioners proclaim September 2023 National Preparedness Month. Pictured, from left, are commissioner Sam Nolte, Upshur County DHSEM director Steve Wykoff, commissioner Doug Bush and commission president Kristie Tenney. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

National Preparedness Month 2023 to focus on assisting older adults in preparing for emergencies

BUCKHANNON – This year’s National Preparedness Month will focus on preparing older adults for unforeseen emergencies.

Steve Wykoff, director of the Upshur County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, attended the Aug. 31 Upshur County Commission meeting to request that the commission proclaim September as National Preparedness Month.

“National Preparedness Month is FEMA’s (Federal Emergency Management Agency’s) annual preparedness outreach campaign sponsored by the Ready Campaign,” Wykoff said. “The goal is to educate and empower Americans during National Preparedness Month and also throughout the year to prepare for and respond to all types of emergencies.”

Wykoff said the annual event is specifically aiming to help older adults prepare for any emergency.

“This month will focus primarily on older adults during disaster situations because older adults are disproportionately impacted by all hazard events that continue to threaten the nation,” Wykoff said. “All citizens of Upshur County are encouraged to participate in preparedness activities to become more prepared.”

Wykoff also encouraged everyone in the Buckhannon-Upshur community to develop their own strategies to prepare for disasters and emergencies.

“Emergency Preparedness is the responsibility of every resident in Upshur County, and all residents are urged to make preparedness a priority and work together to ensure their communities are prepared for disasters and emergencies of any type,” Wykoff said. “By developing their own emergency preparedness plans, working together to create a more prepared community, residents can reduce the number of fatalities and economic devastation that occurs from a disaster.”

For more information and resources about preparing for unanticipated disasters, visit the Upshur DHSEM’s webpage here.

The proclamation appears in full below:

WHEREAS, National Preparedness Month, occurring annually in September since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, creates an ideal opportunity for every resident of Upshur County, West Virginia, to join citizens across the United States in preparing their homes, businesses, and communities for any type of emergency, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks; and

WHEREAS, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced the 2023 National Preparedness Month Ready Campaign theme to focus on preparing older adults for disaster, specifically older adults from communities that are disproportionally impacted by the all-hazard events and www. provides free resources; and

WHEREAS, investing in the preparedness of ourselves, our families, businesses, and communities can reduce fatalities and economic devastation in our communities and in our nation; and

WHEREAS, all residents of Upshur County, West Virginia, are urged to plan ahead for disasters and encourage their family and friends to also do so by making a plan, building a kit, preparing youth, participating in neighborhood preparedness activities, registering their contact information in the NIXLE community alert system, visit the Upshur County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) Facebook Page and for updates and disaster preparedness information; and

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the UPSHUR COUNTY COMMISSION, West Virginia, in a regularly scheduled meeting held on August 31, 2023, hereby proclaims September 2023 as National Preparedness Month, and calls on all government agencies, private organizations, and the citizens and businesses of Upshur County to develop their own emergency preparedness plan, and work together toward creating a stronger, more resilient community.

In other Upshur County Commission news:

  • The commission reviewed and approved the James W. Curry Library and Park fiscal year 2024 budget and a request from the James W. Curry Advisory Board to utilize an additional distribution of the James W. Curry Trust, held by Fulton Financial Advisors, for operations in fiscal year 2024 in the amount of $20,363.12. Upon approval, correspondence to Fulton Financial Advisors requesting the additional distribution of the James W. Curry Trust will be remitted.
  • The commission approved correspondence from Tabatha R. Perry, County Administrator, in consensus with the James W. Curry Advisory Board, requesting the part-time employment of Tiffany M. Shaw as James W. Curry Library Attendant, effective Sept. 10, 2023.
  • The commission approved a request from Tabatha R. Perry to continue advertising for one part-time (19.5 hours per week) position at the James W. Curry Library and Park. Applications will be accepted until position is filled.

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