Consider this question. Are you suffering from one of these Preparedness Barriers?
Apathy: “It won’t happen here.” “I won’t worry about this until a threat is imminent.”
Fatalism: “Whatever I do won’t make a difference in the event of a big disaster.”
Not on My Radar: “I just haven’t thought about that.”
Avoidance: “I don’t like to think about that.”
Lack of Information: “I don’t know how to do this.”
Lack of Resources: “I don’t have the money/time.” “I’m unable to do this.”
Now consider this: The likelihood that you and your family will recover from a disaster or emergency event tomorrow often depends on the planning and preparation done today.
Factors such as number of injuries, communication failures and even road blockages can prevent First Responders from being able to reach you. That is why being prepared is so important. Being responsible for knowing what to do before, during and after a disaster enables you to stay safe during the event and allows first responders to assist those in greatest need.
Data shows 90 percent of disaster survivors are rescued by a neighbor. Talk to your neighbors and plan for how you will work together to ensure everyone stays safe in the event of an emergency.
Americans also travel more than ever before. They travel to areas impacted by hazards they may not be at risk for at home. Knowing what to do before, during and after any emergency is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count, whether you are at home or traveling.
Learn about potential hazardous events both at home and the places you travel to. Familiarize yourself with the signs of events that come without warning and know the local advance alerts and warnings and how you will receive them. Knowing about the local emergency plans for shelter and evacuation, and local emergency contacts will help you prepare for an event.
Prepare a family communications plan, so your children will know how to contact you in case communications between home and school/college are disrupted. Make an emergency information list of names, phone numbers and locations of family members, doctors, medical insurance and other important resources.
It’s important to have the supplies you need to keep you, your family and your pets comfortable and safe in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Having a preparedness kit in each of the places you spend most of your time will allow you to grab the essentials quickly, if you need to evacuate or even shelter in place. Places like your home, office, school, and vehicle.
You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, but it might take days.
Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days, weeks, or longer. Your supply kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages. Find more information on how to build a kit and the essential supplies you should consider at www.ready.gov/build-a-kit
If you have a child going off to college, give their preparedness safety some thought too. Being prepared will help your college student remain safe and calmly deal with emergency situations. They too can have a disaster readiness kit. This can be as simple as a backpack containing items like a flashlight, a small radio, extra batteries, a solar powered or hand-cranked cell phone charger, energy bars, water and first aid supplies. Advise your student to keep their kit in an easily accessible place, like under the bed or on the top shelf of a closet.
Most colleges have emergency plans. Contact the admissions office to get a copy and confirm your child is registered on the emergency notification system, or check the college website.
September is National Preparedness Month.
Make a plan
Build a Kit
Break through your Preparedness Barrier!