“Be Prepared- Not Scared”*

Be ready for disasters

Are you equipped for either a personal or local disaster?
Do you have a family emergency plan in place?
Could you find your important documents at a moment’s notice?
Do you have emergency supplies easily accessible?

September is National Preparedness Month. When disaster strikes, you do not have time to figure out the details or stock up on supplies. With news of earthquakes and hurricanes, now is the time to make sure you and your family are prepared for whatever may come. 

Getting prepared is not as large a chore as it may seem. Ready.gov has preparedness games and information to help get the whole family involved. Here are some simple tasks that don’t take long and can help you be ready for an emergency or disaster.

  • Create an emergency plan and communicate it with all the members of your family. Most likely you will not all be together when disaster strikes, so you’ll need to know how to contact one another and get back together. Make sure your family members are aware of the Red Cross’s “Safe and Well” website, an online resource to connect loved ones following a disaster.
  • Organize your vital documents, so you know right where they are. Have them all together and ready to take should you need to leave your home suddenly.
  • Choose an “out of state” contact and let all your family members know who it is and how to contact them. In an emergency, it may be easier to call long distance than across town.
  • Get and store bottled drinking water. The recommended amount is 1 gallon per day per person in your home. Be prepared for 3 days by having 3 gallons per person on hand.
  • Have extra food on hand. Canned goods are great but don’t forget the can opener. Other good items include peanut butter, crackers, granola or power bars, nuts and dried fruit.
  • Keep a spare set of clothing for each family member. Be sure to include a pair of shoes.
  • Collect several days of extra medications. Check the expiration dates on these every 6 months and replace as needed.
  • Find 1 or 2 reliable and strong flashlights. Keep extra batteries with them in a waterproof sealed bag.
  • If possible, have extra cash available, so you can purchase needed supplies if banks or ATM services are not available.

Once you have gathered everything, place the items in a bin and then choose a cool, dark location for storage, such as a closet or “safety corner” in the garage. If you would like more information about being prepared for a disaster, you can visit www.ready.gov.

Don’t let disaster catch you unprepared. This September find a few minutes to make sure you are ready!  

© 2019 Beth Giles

*National Preparedness Month theme Ready.gov

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