September is national preparedness month, which is dedicated to encourage individual preparation for the full range of hazards including natural disasters, cyber attacks, pandemic disease and acts of terrorism. Hurricane Katrina taught us that we have to be independently prepared and not expect government resources to be able to rapidly respond in the initial stages of an emergency. The www.ready.gov site has information that any family can use to insure they are fully prepared should it become necessary to leave their home on short notice or “hunker down” for a period of time. The site has specific instructions for more than a dozen types of catastrophes.
Follow just three steps to prepare your family:
- Get a Kit
- Make a Plan
- Be informed
The checklists available on this site guide you through the details of how you can keep your family, critical financial information, pets and beloved keepsakes safe. Of special importance is the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit which tells you exactly what information and copies of documents you should keep in a waterproof folder ready to take at a moment’s notice.
Discount stores (like Costco) now have readiness kits in a five gallon bucket that contain hand crank radio, first aid kit, water filtration system, emergency blanket sand much more for under $150. Cheap, easy to store kits with a long shelf life now make it easy to “grab and go” if the need ever arises.
Preparation takes a little time, but can reap huge benefits in peace of mind and, if ever needed, may keep an emergency from becoming a tragedy for your family. Our own ADHS Emergency Preparedness Bureau can give you more information and each county has a Citizen Corps contact where you can volunteer to assist with emergency education and preparedness in your community. You can also volunteer as a health professional.