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Adair County officials want you to know they're prepared

The Local Emergency Planning Committee gathered Thursday to discuss action plan in the case of a flu pandemic. (KTVO)

September is National Preparedness Month and with flu season and winter coming, one Heartland county is making sure they’re ahead of the game.

The Adair County Local Emergency Planning Committee held their quarterly meeting Thursday morning at the Adair County Health Department in Kirksville.

The LEPC works with the Missouri Emergency Response Commission to protect public health and the environment by assisting communities with chemical incident prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.

The committee is comprised of representatives of multiple law enforcement agencies, emergency services, members of the health department and more.

The meeting’s big focus was being able to have a plan in place in the event of a widespread flu pandemic in Adair County.

By using a tabletop exercise, the committee is able to discuss steps that would be taken to ensure the quickest response to that scenario.

This process has worked in the past but would that previous success translate to future preparedness as well?

Yeah very much so. The H1N1 that we had in Adair County in 2010 very much correlates with what they’re talking about today.

Adair County Health Department Administrator Jim LeBaron said using past experiences will be beneficial but without a solid plan in place things could fall apart very quickly.

Beginning with identifying the flu or disease impacting the area, the committee would then begin working with the State Emergency Management Agency to provide extra funding as well as more man power.

If an outbreak is no longer containable through local and state agencies, the Federal Emergency Management Agency could be included in the response effort as well.

The LEPC doesn't only discuss health topics. The group holds the same type of meetings to prepare for natural disaster events.

Their most recent meeting prior to Thursday’s was discussing the plan of action in the event of an extreme ice storm. Severe weather is another topic that they typically tackle in the late winter/early spring before severe storm season begins.

For a family disaster and preparedness checklist, click here.

For more info on emergency preparedness from the Adair County Health Department, click here.

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