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National Preparedness Month: Experts Ready to Help South Dakotans Stay Safe

September is National Preparedness Month, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency is urging families to create a disaster kit and emergency plan. (iStockphoto)
September is National Preparedness Month, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency is urging families to create a disaster kit and emergency plan. (iStockphoto)
September 12, 2016

PIERRE, S.D. — September is National Preparedness Month, and South Dakota safety advocates are urging residents to make plans in case of emergencies such as natural disasters.

Safety experts at the Federal Emergency Management Agency remind people to buy or put together an emergency supply kit and make a family emergency plan. To help in the effort, AARP will co-host a live call-in show on September 15th.

AARP South Dakota spokeswoman Leah Ganschow said viewers will be able to ask questions and get ideas on how to be prepared for emergencies, including tornadoes and severe storms.

"We do see an exceptional number of storms that happen in these Midwestern states,” Ganschow said. "And it's good to have this opportunity to get your questions answered from AARP experts, as well as from experts in the field of disaster preparedness and management."

FEMA has given each week in the month of September a disaster-preparation theme. The focus of this week will be on honoring the memory of the tragic events of 9/11 by asking residents to get involved in their community through neighborhood watch or by volunteering with local police.

According to FEMA, families can prepare for unexpected emergencies is by talking ahead of time about how to get in contact with each other and by designating a place to meet. Ganschow said preparing now can mean the difference between life or death when split-second decisions count.

"Making a conscious decision to prepare yourself for these kinds of disasters allows you to be more fully present,” she said. "It allows you to avoid slip-ups."

The disaster preparedness show will be aired live on Rural Farm Direct T.V. and on AARP's website. For more information on how to make a family emergency plan, visit Ready.gov.

Brandon Campbell, Public News Service - SD