This week’s topic for National Preparedness Month will cover the preparedness efforts you can take to prepare for disasters.
What are considered preparedness efforts for disasters?
While this one is self-explanatory, FEMA defines preparedness as “a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action in an effort to ensure effective coordination during incident response.”
Where should I start?
One of the first things you should do is to create a family emergency plan. There are a few good templates to use at Ready.gov. When you create your plan, ensure each family member has a copy and anyone who may also watch your children. It is not enough to create a plan. Any plan you create should also be tested and practiced as a family. Once you make it, keep a copy in a safe place or digital form. Be sure to keep it up to date as well.
Next, building an emergency go-kit is one of the best ways to prepare for a disaster. These kits usually have enough provisions and supplies to last at least three days per person. You can purchase many already-packed kits that only need personal items added, such as important documents and medications. The downside is they can be expensive. One economical way to begin your kit is by following the American Red Cross “21 Weeks to Prepare” guide, where you build your kit over time using this shopping list:
You must also know where to go before a disaster strikes if you need to evacuate. One of the best ways to do this is to follow your local emergency management agency’s websites for information. It is also essential that you sign up to receive local emergency alerts. To help, I have also compiled a list of essential resources on the TCRC website for each county. Just find your county below:
You can do many things to prepare for disasters and to limit the length of this post, not all have been included. For a comprehensive guide from FEMA, please look at the Basic Preparedness Guide found here. In addition, the www.ready.gov website is a great resource as well.
Next week, we will cover things you can do as a response when disaster strikes.