Are You Ready?
Severe weather is a fact of life, and it’s important to make sure you and your family are prepared for when it occurs. Each September, the Federal Emergency Management Agency recognizes National Preparedness Month to educate and empower Americans to take simple steps to prepare for and respond to potential emergencies that could affect us where we live, work and visit. This year’s theme (Prepared, Not Scared. Be Ready for Disasters.) touches on four distinct aspects of emergency preparation:
Save Early for Disaster Costs
Emergencies hit us when we least expect and could be costly if we aren’t prepared beforehand. Do you have an emergency fund? Does your insurance adequately cover the costs of a natural disaster? Does your homeowners’ or renters’ insurance cover flood damages? It’s important to have funds available when emergencies disrupt daily life or if an ATM isn’t immediately available.
Make a Plan
Preparing your family for an emergency is as simple as a conversation over dinner, and it’s important to include kids in the disaster planning process. Practice your plan, including evacuations, fire escapes and turning off utilities like natural gas.
Teach children what to do in an emergency if they are at home or away. They should know how to communicate during an emergency, with you, friends or emergency responders. Review family emergency plans regularly, or even have them practice building their own emergency kits.
Get Involved in Community Preparedness
Take some time to learn about the hazards most likely to affect your community and their responses. Look for opportunities to get involved by volunteering with organizations before, during and after potential disasters. Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) train volunteers to prepare for the types of disasters their community may face.
For more information on National Preparedness Month, including sample emergency communications plans, organizations you can volunteer with during disasters and more, visit www.ready.gov.