Remember, Prepare and Plan with your Family
This September, our nation will mark the ten year anniversary of 9/11, remembering those lost, honoring our first responders and renewing our commitment to prepare and plan for emergencies. September is also National Preparedness Month, founded after 9/11 to increase preparedness in the United States. This is a time to get prepared and have a plan. We all need to pay attention to our surroundings and know what is going on in the world!
If you’ve seen the news recently, you know that emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere, in any community and many states. In times of crisis, it is important to be self-sufficient as police, fire and rescue may not always be able to reach you quickly, such as if trees or power lines are down or if they’re overwhelmed by demand from the emergency. We have had many natural disasters in recent weeks, months and they have affected many states, many communities, and millions of people.
Preparedness is a shared responsibility and it takes a whole community. All households are strongly advised to prepare for an event that includes the loss of electricity, water service, access to a supermarket and local services for a few days. Be prepared for all kinds of emergencies that can happen in your area, not just Natural Disasters.
Follow these three simple steps to begin your preparations.
- Get a Kit
- Keep enough emergency supplies on hand for your family for at least three days-72 HOURS, water (one gallon, per person, per day), non-perishable food, first aid supplies, prescriptions flashlight and a battery powered radio. If you own a pet, remember to include their food and supplies in your kit.
- Make a Plan
- Be sure everyone in the family understands where to go and what to do in case of an emergency. Establish responsibilities for each member of your household and plan to work together as a team.
- Designate two locations to meet in case it is impossible to return home or if you have to evacuate; one near your home and one outside of the neighborhood. Make sure your family knows the address and phone number of both locations.
- Designate an out-of-area contact person. This person should be far enough away that it is unlikely he or she would be affected by the same emergency. Family members should call this person to report their locations if they cannot reach each other. Provide your contact person with important names and numbers so he or she can assist in keeping others posted on your situation. Create a communications card for each member of your household to keep with them at all times.
- Be Informed, follow the local and national news, Listen to the radio, get text alerts for your area, via news channels, local Emergency agencies, Facebook, Twitter etc.
- Discuss with your family the types of disasters that can happen where you live.