Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare!
Power outages, hail, tornadoes, snow storms – it’s critical to plan ahead for emergencies! September is “National Preparedness Month” and throughout September more than 3000 organizations, including national, regional and local governments, as well as private and public organizations, will support emergency preparedness efforts and encourage Americans to take action.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA released new research this month that nearly half of all Americans have not discussed, or developed an emergency plan with their family about where to go and what to do in the event of a local disaster. The research showed that a large number of American families are aware of the importance of preparing for emergencies; however, the awareness doesn’t always translate into action. Do you and your family have a plan in the event of a disaster?
Here are a few simple steps to protect and prepare your family:
Build an emergency preparedness kit:
- Water- one gallon of water per person for at least three days
- Food- at least a three day supply of non-perishable food (manual can opener)
- Battery powered or hand crank radio and NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert (extra batteries for both)
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filer air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter in place
- Moist towelletes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Local maps
- Cell phones with charges, inverts or solar chargers
Create a Communication Plan:
- Develop a communications plan and share with your family. For example, have a family discussion to determine who would be your out –of-state point of contact, and where you would meet away from your home (if needed). Document all the important numbers and contacts. (Sample communication plan)
- Pay attention to potential weather related threats in your area and or your local news for updates. Use Technology as much as much possible to stay informed and abreast of the updates in your area.
- Have at least one member of your household trained in first aid and CPR/AED.
To further encourage Americans to take action, National Preparedness Month will also culminate with America’s PrepareAthon! a national grassroots day of action. On September 30, people in all 50 states will come together to take actions around the hazards their communities could face with drills, conversations, and exercises in their schools, workplaces, houses of worship and organizations. To learn more you can go to Ready.gov/Prepare.
While we can’t prevent all disasters, it’s important we all do what we can to prepare for them–creating an emergency kit, family communications plan, ensuring someone in your family can administer first aid and/or CPR are all great places to start. Start preparing now!