Take emergency preparedness action
Did you know September is National Emergency Preparedness Month? Across the United States, agencies are joining the Ready Campaign to remind people to prepare and plan for natural disasters.
This year’s theme, "Don't Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today,” reminds us to take the time to make an emergency plan and talk about it with family, friends and co-workers.
1. Know your risks. Do you live in a floodplain? Have you lost power during winter ice storms in the past? Take inventory of the potential disasters you and your family could face. Learn about emergency resources in your community. Research everything you will need to create a plan to support your family in an emergency.
2. Make a plan. Who will you call? Where will you meet? Create a communication plan so your family members know how to connect if something happens. Tailor an emergency plan to your family’s individual needs based on the emergency resources available to you.
The Ready Campaign website has resources to help you get started, including how to build your family communication plan, caring for your animals, creating disaster plans for your workplace and more.
3. Build a kit. An emergency kit will make sure you have food, water and the other basic supplies essential to survival during a disaster. Be sure to include contact information for the nearest hospitals and any other important medical information.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends the following items:
- Water: one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food: at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener (if kit contains canned food)
- Local maps
Preparing your family for an emergency can also help your community. Talk about emergency preparedness with your friends, co-workers and neighbors.
This story was originally published in September 2014 and updated in September 2015.
About The Author
Jen Rittenhouse is the social media manager for MultiCare and Mary Bridge Children's Hospital. She writes stories that connect people with hospitals, health care and each other. You can reach her at [email protected].
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