September is National Preparedness Month
Between a combination of a quiet storm season and other things consuming our thoughts over the course of 2020, preparing for a potential disaster situation may not be high on our list of priorities. However, natural disasters may come in an instant, and it’s important to make sure you and your family are prepared. 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, “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today,” touches on four distinct aspects of emergency preparation.
Make a plan. Expecting the unexpected begins with having a plan in place to respond, and those conversations can begin casually over a meal or strategically in a family meeting. If you have children, include them in the disaster planning process. Prepare with your friends, family and neighbors to develop communications plans. Finally, practice your plan.
Build a Kit. Gather supplies for several days, considering the unique needs of your family. Include items such as food, water and any necessary medications or pet items. You may also include items such as a first aid kit, flashlight and/or radio. Remember to update your kit regularly.
Prepare for Disasters. Different areas and regions are impacted by different natural disasters. In Colorado, we can experience devastating floods, debilitating blizzards or even strong tornadoes. Make sure your disaster plan above includes steps for each potential event. Be mindful of disasters that could also occur during travel or on vacations.
Teach Youth About Preparedness. It’s important to teach your children about emergency preparation, such as how to communicate in the event of separation or what to do if you’re away. They should know how to communicate with you, their friends and emergency responders. Provide sufficient information and carefully walk through individual steps of your disaster plan or have them practice building their own emergency kits.
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.