New community “Homeland Security Kits” are being distributed to Iowa’s 99 county emergency management directors. Grinnell Mayor Gordon Canfield says it’s important to give citizens all the information they need to react to disasters — be they natural or man-made.Canfield says his city developed a handbook, or tool kit, for residents. He served on a state task force which developed a general kit for distribution statewide. He says the idea is to customize the material for each community’s need.The kit urges Iowans to designate a family meeting place if there’s a disaster, and it suggests Iowans choose a family contact person who lives out-of-state so all family members can check in to say they’re o-k.Iowa Homeland Security director Ellen Gordon says the kits will provide the tools so Iowans can be prepared. Gordon says people sometimes feel they’re hopeless, and this took kit can help them get beyond that feeling.The emergency management coordinators for Emmet, Pocahontas, Polk and Mills Counties served on the task force, too, along with state officials, Des Moines police, a representative of Iowa’s private colleges and the president of Rocklin Manufacturing in Sioux City.
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