Editorial Roundup: Kentucky

Frankort State Journal. September 12, 2023.

Editorial: Be prepared for disasters, emergencies

In the 1908 Boy Scouts handbook, “Scouting for Boys,” founder Robert Baden-Powell minted the motto “Be prepared.” In the book, he defined preparedness as “always in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your duty.”

September is National Preparedness Month and serves as a reminder of the importance of being ready for disasters and emergencies that can occur at any time — as we witnessed with the western Kentucky tornado outbreak a few years ago and more recently the historic flooding in the eastern part of the state.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has launched a month-long campaign focused on preparing older adults as well as their caregivers, who FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell called “instrumental in our efforts to help this vital community before, during and after disasters.”

17.6% of Kentucky’s population is composed of seniors, who —according to FEMA — face greater risks during extreme weather events and other emergencies. In fact, more than a quarter of applicants for FEMA disaster assistance are older than 65 with 44% living in rural areas.

The agency offers the following three steps to become better prepared:

• Assess your needs. Whether you care for pets, have children or a medical condition or a disability, consider the necessities your family needs to stay safe.

• Make a plan. What will you do, where will you go and what will you bring if disaster strikes? Build an emergency supply kit of items that meet your needs. Be sure to include enough food, water and other items to last for several days. Don’t forget prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs and vitamins.

• Engage your support network. Get to know your neighbors who along with family and friends can provide emotional and practical support before, during and after a disaster. Make sure at least one person in your support circle has an extra key to your residence, can locate your emergency supplies and knows how to use lifesaving equipment or administer medicine.

Don’t be left unprepared. For more information, visit ready.gov


Ashland Daily Independent. September 9, 2023.

Editorial: Good for Ashland, good for Appalachia

The Appalachian Regional Commission’s 2023 Annual Conference will get under way Monday in Ashland, and it’s a big deal.

Not only will the two-day conference draw Gov. Andy Beshear, Congressman Hal Rogers, UK men’s basketball coach John Calipari, Kentucky Poet Laureate and author Silas House and country music artist Tyler Childers, the ARC’s primary objective will be to generate ideas and support for development in Appalachia, a region that stretches from Maine to Georgia and encompasses parts of Kentucky and Ohio and all of West Virginia.

In fact, that’s what the ARC exists for, having been established in 1965 with the goal of economic development in the region, which seemed to have been left behind by the rest of the country.

The ARC, a federal agency, works with 13 states, focusing on 423 counties and, since its inception, ARC has invested $4.5 billion in approximately 28,000 economic development projects across Appalachia, attracting more than $10 billion in matching project funds. It was a unique project to address the unique needs of Appalachia.

After nearly 60 years of work by the ARC, much of Appalachia continues to struggle economically. But the agency was tasked with an overwhelming job, and there has been progress, including: development of roads to better access; reducing the number of residents living in poverty; cutting the infant mortality rate; and doubling the percentage of high school graduates.

In addition, having the conference in Ashland offers a chance to show off the progress our immediate area has made while bringing a boost to the local economy.

With the theme “Appalachia Rises: Resilience, Strength and Transformation,” we hope to see new ideas for more progress in our part of the country as a result of the conference, and we hope to see action that will make a difference.