The Public Health Infrastructure Grant is funded by the Ohio Department of Health. The goal of the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program is to equip and prepare local health departments to better address bioterrorism, outbreaks of infectious disease, and other public health threats and emergencies. The Division of Emergency Preparedness within the Kenton-Hardin Health Department (KHHD) continues under the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Program and sustains collaboration with state and regional authorities, local community partners, first responding agencies, volunteer organizations, and citizens of Hardin County.

The Kenton-Hardin County Health Department ensures this emergency response through an all-hazards Emergency Response Plan, Training and Exercising Plans of the Public Health Preparedness Capabilities listed below:

  • Biosurveillence
  • Community Resilience
  • Mitigation
  • Incident Management
  • Information Management
  • Surge Management

Emergency Preparedness Sources of information:


Build a Disaster Supply Kit

  • Water – You will need one gallon of water per person per day. Keep a 3 day supply of water for each person in your household. Replace water supply every 6 months.
  • Nonperishable Food – Foods like canned meats, fruits, vegetables, soups, juices, canned and powdered milk, peanut butter, crackers, granola bars, and trail mix are good to keep for emergencies. Keep a 3 day supply of food for each person in your household. Replace food items every 6 months.
  • First Aid Kit – Keep a well stocked first aid kit in your kit. Remember that you will need your prescription medicines during an emergency too. Talk to your doctor to obtain sufficient quantity of prescription medications.
  • Clothing & Bedding – You will need one change of clothing and footwear per person. Blankets and sleeping bags should also be included in your disaster supply kit.
  • Sanitation Items – Sanitation items are also an important asset to your disaster supply kit. You should include items such as personal hygiene items, plastic garbage bags and ties, bucket with lid, disinfectant, bleach, old towels, and paper towels.
  • Tools – In a disaster you may need several tools to help keep you and your family safe. Some important items to add include flashlights, radio with extra batteries, NOAA weather radio, manual can opener, ABC-type fire extinguisher, wrench, signal flare, duct tape, retractable blade knife, any other hardware items you may find important for your household.
  • Special Items – During a disaster there are several special items that may be needed in your household including baby needs (formula, diapers, etc), extra eye glasses, cash, personal papers or documents. Don’t forget to include items for your furry friends. Add pet food, leash, collar, ID tags, and pet medications to your kit as well.
  • Entertainment – In some disasters you may be confined to your home or an area of your home for a period time.You may want to place some games (board game, cards) or other entertainment items in your kits.
  • Storage – Easy-to-carry duffel bags or plastic totes make nice disaster kit storage containers.


Family Disaster Preparedness Guide

#1 – Identify the Hazards


Q: What types of disasters are most likely in your home or community?

A: Flooding is the most frequent natural disaster in Ohio. Other disasters include lightening, storms, tornadoes, snow/ice storms, fires, extreme heat, and drought.

Q: What are the best sources of information to alert you and your family of a disaster?

A: NOAA weather radios are the best source of information because they report weather conditions first in the surrounding areas before they may arrive in your immediate area. Other information sources include Emergency Alert System that is broadcast on local televisions and radio stations, as well as the The Weather Channel and outdoor warning sirens.

Q: What are the community warning signals and what do they mean?

A: Union County tests the warning signals/sirens every Wednesday at noon. Television and radio stations test the Emergency Alert System occasionally.

STORM WATCH – Conditions are favorable for a particular severe weather event.

STORM WARNING – Weather hazard is imminent or occurring. People need to take action to protect their lives and property.

Q: Is there a need for special planning to accommodate an elderly or disabled person?

A: If yes, these individuals should notify their local police and fire departments and the Hardin County Emergency Management Agency (419-674-2276) and let their special needs or limitations be known. Special needs individuals should build relationships with neighbors so they can check on or notify them during a disaster.

Q: What options are available for animal care after a crisis?

A: As a general rule, pets are not permitted in shelters or recovery centers. As part of a family plan, however, pet care and accommodations need to be included. Consider family or friends willing to care for your pet temporarily in an emergency. Other considerations are hotels, motels, or boarding facilities that are near the shelter or family meeting place. If these options are not available, leave at least 3 days worth of food and water for your pet.

#2 – Create a Plan

  • Create a family plan with the whole family using the answers provided in the Identifying the Hazard section. Write the plan down so it can be practiced later.
    Points to Consider in Developing Your Plan

    • Possible Types of Disasters
      • Natural
      • Accidental
      • Intentional
      • Blizzard/Ice Storm
      • Mudslide
      • Fire
      • Bombing
      • Earthquake
      • Tornado
      • Transportation
      • Biological
      • Flood
      • Chemical Release
      • Chemical
      • Heat Wave
      • Radiological
      • Shooting
  • Develop a list of emergency numbers, including someone out-of town that you can contact following a disaster. Teach children when and how to use these numbers.
    Establish a meeting place immediately outside the home, as well as an out-of-area destination in cae you cannot return home immediately.
  • Assemble a disaster supplies kit
  • Conduct a “home hazard hunt”
  • Learn when and how to shut off water, gas, and electricity
  • Install smoke detectors on each level of your home
  • Know 2 ways out of every room
  • Incorporate any special needs for the elderly or disabled
  • Plan how to care for pets following a disaster

#3 – Practice the Plan

Talking to Children about War, Terrorism, and Disaster

War, terrorism, and disaster can be difficult things to talk about with children. But whether they see images on TV or hear people talking, children are likely to know when something bad has happened. Events like these can make children feel sad or scared. Talking with them about their feelings can help.

Following tips can help you get started

Create a safe and reassuring atmosphere

  • When children are aware that something bad has happened, let them know they can talk to you about their feelings
  • Ask them about what they have heard is a good way to start
  • Children may be fearful that such things could happen to them or their families. Reassure them that you will keep them as safe as possible
    Children need you to tell the truth

Answer their questions with honesty

  • Explain events using words and ideas that they understand
  • Don’t overwhelm them with details, unless they ask for specific information
  • It’s OK to let children know that you too are feeling sad or anxious because of events

How can you deal with TV news and other media?

  • Monitor younger children’s TV viewing. Make sure they don’t watch shows with disturbing images
  • For older children or adolescents, watching the TV news or reading the newspaper may be appropriate. Be sure to talk about what they see and hear
  • Ask questions like, “What do you think about what is happening? Are you scared? Do you feel sad or angry?”

Help children cope with their feelings

  • If it is hard for your children to talk about their feelings, encourage them to draw pictures, tell stories, or play with toys to express themselves and find comfort
  • During stressful times, stick to your child’s regular routine. Children find comfort in what is familiar
  • Doing something for the people affected by a tragedy can help children feel better. Suggest they draw a card to send, or participate in a fundraising effort.
  • Focus on the positive. Point out all people that help others during an emergency.

Ways to detect signs of anxiety of fear

Watch for:

  • Loss of appetite, stomach aches, headaches, or nightmares
  • Constantly talking about scary ideas or feelings
  • Fear or anger toward specific ethnic groups or communities
  • Increased fighting with friends, parents, or siblings
  • Fear of leaving parents, or going to school
  • If your child shows any of these signs for a long period of time, consider talking with a health care professional or doctor.

If a loved one is involved in a tragedy or war:

  • Spend extra time together. Knowing you are there for support can help children feel more secure.
  • Join or start a family support group with other families who are going through similar things.
  • Children who have lost a family member or loved one need extra love and reassurance. Encourage them to share their feelings. Remind them that you are there for them during this difficult time.
  • Consider crisis or family counseling to help you and your children.

The Kenton-Hardin Health Department has many emergency response plans that address pandemic influenza, bioterrorism, foodborn illness, community disease containment, and other public health emergencies. We welcome your comments and invite Hardin County Citizens to contact the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator to address any questions regarding the plans. Your feedback is vital to developing a stronger community response to public health emergencies.

Please contact:
Arin Tracy
Emergency Preparedness Coordinator
Kenton-Hardin Health Department