September is National Preparedness Month. The 2015 theme is “Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.” Ready.gov is encouraging everyone to take part, make a plan and learn what to do during an emergency. Start with an up-to-date contact list for anyone you may need to reach during a disaster, include financial and medical information (a synopsis card in your wallet may save your life in a strange ER) necessary to start over, and develop alternate methods of communicating in case traditional means are unavailable.
There are benefits to being prepared. Preparedness can reduce fear, anxiety, and losses that accompany a disaster. Do you know what to do in the event of a fire and where to go for shelter during a tornado? How quickly could you evacuate your home with your BUG-OUT-BAG and find a public shelter? Do you know how to care for your family’s basic medical needs?
Thousands of lives are disrupted every year by disasters. When a disaster strikes in your community, local disaster relief personnel will try to help, but they may be unable to get to you right away. You need to know how to respond to severe weather or other disaster that could occur in your area including hurricanes, earthquakes, wild fires, extreme weather, flooding or terrorism. Everyone should be prepared to be self-sufficient for three days minimum. Can you provide your own shelter, first aid, medication, food, water and sanitation for family and pets?
To help with these preparations, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in conjunction with other local emergency management organizations has developed a guide, which can help you protect yourself and your family during an emergency. Every citizen in this country is part of a national emergency system.