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September 2017

Is your family prepared for an emergency?

Now is the time to take action and prepare for disasters!

September is National Preparedness Month. We are all able to increase safety and help first responders save more lives by practicing how to respond during an emergency and what to do when disaster strikes. The goal of National Preparedness Month is to increase the overall number of individuals, families and communities that engage in preparedness actions at home, work, business and school.

Below are a few tips from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security to keep in mind when developing a family emergency response plan:

  • Make sure that important documents such as Social Security cards and bank statements are accounted for and readily available in the event of an evacuation.
  • Consider making digital copies of important documents, and make sure they’re secure and accessible.
  • Keep at least a one-week supply of important medications on hand, as they may not be available in a disaster.
  • Consider flood insurance coverage if it isn’t already in place. Be aware that most flood insurance policies have a 30-day waiting period before they can go into effect.

Technology has made it easier than ever to prepare for emergencies. FEMA and the American Red Cross have created multiple apps to keep you connected to tools and preparedness information. Social media is an easy way to let friends and family know you are safe during a disaster, but you can also register with American Red Cross’s Safe & Well site where your loved ones can search the list of those who have registered themselves as safe. It is also helpful to follow local governments on social media to stay up-to-date with official information before a disaster.

Disasters don’t plan ahead, but you can. For additional preparedness and safety information, click here.

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Community Crossings grants pave way for local road projects

Nearly 400 communities across Indiana will receive state matching grants to improve local roads and bridges.

More than $150 million was awarded to Indiana cities, towns and counties through the Community Crossings grant program, which is now in its second year. The grants are a result of legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2016, and are awarded by the Indiana Department of Transportation based on applications submitted by local officials.

These funds help communities address their immediate road-funding needs to keep Indiana’s roads and bridges safe. A strong infrastructure supports a more robust economy and keeps our communities moving forward.

Projects eligible for funding through Community Crossings include road and bridge preservation, road reconstruction, intersection improvements, small structure replacements, guardrail replacements and signs.

A complete list of Indiana cities, towns and counties receiving matching funds through Community Crossings can be found by clicking here. More information about the program can be found through the Indiana Department of Transportation’s website at www.in.gov/indot/communitycrossings.

National Hunting and Fishing Day

This year, on Saturday, Sept. 23, the nation will celebrate the 45th National Hunting and Fishing Day. This day recognizes the heritage and tradition of hunting and angling, as well as the historical and current contributions supporting sound, science-based fish and wildlife conservation.

Through purchasing licenses, tags and waterfowl stamps, and by paying excise taxes on firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, fishing tackle, motorboat fuel, and other hunting and fishing equipment, sportsmen and women drive conservation funding in the United States. Collectively, these funding sources constitute the American System of Conservation Funding, a unique “user pays-public benefits” system, which this year is celebrating its 80th anniversary. Via passage of the Pittman-Robertson Act, the Dingell-Johnson Act, and the Wallop-Breaux Amendment, this excise tax revenue is apportioned back to state fish and wildlife agencies, including the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Last year, Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson combined contributed $16.5 million, while hunting and fishing licenses brought an additional $19 million to fund conservation efforts in the state.

All Hoosiers benefit from these monies through improved access to public lands, public shooting facilities, improved water quality, habitat restoration, fish and wildlife research, private and public habitat management, hunter education and numerous other DNR projects funded through this system.

Enjoy this special occasion and the vast opportunities to hunt, fish and experience the great outdoors. For more information on fishing and hunting in Indiana, click here.

More information on National Hunting and Fishing Day is available at www.NHFDay.org or on the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation website at www.sportsmenslink.org/policies/federal/ascf.

Streamlining government

State Rep. Doug Gutwein, chair of the House Select Committee on Government Reduction, is working with Accelerate Indiana’s Municipalities and the Association of Indiana Counties to help identify burdensome or obsolete state reporting requirements for local governments.

Using a web-based survey, local officials are asked to submit information on state reporting requirements and provide recommendations on whether they should be revised, simplified or eliminated. The deadline to complete the survey is Oct. 31.

While many of these processes improve accountability and transparency at the local level, other requirements could be in desperate need of revision or repeal.

The House Select Committee on Government Reduction has helped repeal nearly 2,000 lines of Indiana Code. It has also contributed toward the elimination of over 70 government boards and commissions, totaling more than 600 appointments.

This easy-to-use survey is a part of the General Assembly’s continuing efforts to streamline government processes, while also reducing the regulatory burden on Hoosiers, local governments and businesses. The data collected will be used to draft potential legislation for the 2018 legislative session.

Remembering 9/11

Monday marks the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Nearly 3,000 lives were taken in the morning hours of 9/11, including nine Hoosiers who were working in the World Trade Center and at the Pentagon.

Just 16 hours after the collapse of the Twin Towers, 277 Hoosiers stepped foot onto Ground Zero to help in recovery efforts. Doctors, police officers, firefighters, mental health counselors and many more from Indiana bravely helped their fellow Americans.

Let’s remember the role all the brave first responders played on Sept. 11, 2001, and continue honoring those who dedicate themselves to protecting us.

As a way to pay tribute to all the victims of the attacks and to show the American spirit, consider donating blood. In the wake of the recent hurricanes and the summer blood supply shortage, the Red Cross needs donations now more than ever. Click here to learn how to save a life.

Please take a moment to reflect on what was lost that September morning 16 years ago.

We will never forget the courage shown on 9/11 and how our country stood up in the face of evil.

May God continue to bless America.

Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship

The application deadline is approaching for a scholarship for future Hoosier educators!

The Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship is designed to attract Indiana’s best and brightest to enter the teaching profession. Recipients will receive up to $7,500 per year of college, but they must commit to teaching in Indiana for five years after earning their degrees. The scholarship is available to up to 200 students each year.

To qualify, students must either graduate in the top 20 percent of their class or earn a score in the top 20th percentile on the SAT or ACT. While attending college, students must earn a 3.0 cumulative GPA and complete at least 30 credit hours per year to continue earning the scholarship. See the full list of qualifications here.

Those interested in applying need to be nominated by a teacher and submit the nomination form to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. The Commission is accepting applications now, so please get your materials ready in order to meet the Nov. 30 deadline. Students may apply at ScholarTrack.IN.gov.

Authored by House Speaker Brian Bosma, the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship was established with bipartisan support by the 2016 Indiana General Assembly.

To all of our educators, thank you for your commitment to our students. For those just beginning their teaching careers, we look forward to seeing you grow as a professional while contributing to the success of our future generations.

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