Office of Homeland Security

Press Release Date:  Thursday, November 01, 2007  
Contact Information:  Joel Schrader



FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Office of Homeland Security today announced a public/private partnership with the Kentucky Retail Federation and the Kentucky Pharmacists Association. The initiative partners some of Kentucky’s largest retailers with Homeland Security to distribute preparedness information. Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, Food Lion, CVS, Rite Aid and Southern States will distribute over 250,000 preparedness brochures during the month of November. Members of the Kentucky Pharmacists Association including Kroger Pharmacies and independent community pharmacies already have distributed over 250,000 flyers in the last two months.


“Today’s announcement is exciting because it allows us to harness the power of private industry in our outreach efforts and ensure that citizens have the information they need to prepare for any type of disaster,” said Director Alecia Webb-Edgington. “We believe that these partnerships with the Kentucky Retail Federation and the Kentucky Pharmacists Association will be the first of many public/private partnerships for our outreach division over the course of the next year.”


Brad Hall, Executive Director of the Kentucky Pharmacists Association said the partnership  builds on their relationship with the Department of Public Health and noted, “the project highlights the fact that Kentucky Pharmacists not only care about the health of their communities, but also the safety of the patients they care for.  In the event of an emergency, pharmacists will be an integral part of the healthcare delivery team that ensures communities receive life saving pharmaceutical care.”


Kentucky Retail Federation President Jan Gould added that the retail industry’s role in promoting disaster preparation is a natural fit as the industry often plays a key role in disaster recovery.


“After a natural or manmade disaster, retailers often provide the second line of response and the first step in restoring normalcy,” KRF President Jan Gould said. “This partnership builds on the retail industry’s legacy of customer service and community stewardship by allowing us to take an active role in helping Kentuckians prepare in advance for all types of disasters.”


Members of the partnership, including Lowe’s Larry Stone also expressed their enthusiasm for the joint venture.


“At Lowe's, we believe community involvement extends beyond the boundaries of the traditional retail setting. Whether it's helping prepare for a catastrophe or taking an active role in programs that make our neighborhoods better places to live, we are committed to forging alliances with well-respected organizations like the Kentucky Retail Federation and the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security,” said Stone, “Our customers can rely on their neighborhood Lowe’s to provide the items they need to keep their families safe and secure.”


Bernie Heuer, Rite Aid Regional Pharmacy Vice President also participated in the press conference, adding that Rite Aid will focus on preparing customers to meet their medical needs during catastrophes.


“Preparing for a disaster means not only the traditional survival kit items – the batteries, blankets and food – but also the life saving and life sustaining prescriptions and medical equipment that may be difficult to access during a disaster,” added Heuer, “We take very seriously our commitment to customer service and know how crucial it is that we do our part to help them prepare for disasters of all types.”


Wal-Mart Senior Manager of Public Affairs Jason Wetzel shared that while disasters may not always be expected, the company’s commitment to helping customers is certain.


"Sam Walton believed retailers have a unique opportunity and responsibility to serve their community beyond the four walls of a store. No one knows when disaster will strike. But through planning and partnerships - such as this one with Homeland Security and KRF - we can prepare for the unthinkable. It's part of Wal-Mart's commitment to the community: working hard to ensure our customers and neighbors live better lives."


In addition, Anthony Francis, District Manager with CVS Caremark added that the partnership solidifies the company’s existing policies.


“Our company's vision is to help people live longer, healthier, and happier lives,” said Francis. “We are proud to stand up and support our community with this important project. While we cannot stop disaster from striking, we know that proper planning is the key to disaster recovery and we are committed to helping our customers prepare.”


For information on steps your family can take to ensure they are prepared for all types of disasters please visit


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