Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Planning is a fact of every day life. We plan for our chores, the kids’ activities, shopping trips and vacations. But when it comes to planning for a disaster, many Americans don’t do it.
According to Lynne Eicher with the Mid-South Chapter of the American Red Cross, “Research shows that fewer than 15% of the population in this country is prepared for any disaster.”
And, according to FEMA, almost 67% of respondents in a 2009 Citizen Corps survey say they plan on relying on government in the first couple of days.
Unfortunately disaster preparedness is often thought of moments before or immediately following some sort of crisis or emergency. For example, how many times have you seen images of people stocking up on water, can goods and batteries just before the hurricane comes ashore?
It would be easier (and cheaper) to purchase things in advance and have them in a kit with other supplies. And yes, planning for something that may never happen is hard … but what if something does happen? Are you and your loved ones prepared?
September is National Preparedness Month and a perfect time to take action and get ready.
Some important things you can do to prepare for the unexpected include:
- Get or assemble Disaster Supplies Kits (grab & go kits) for your home, office and car … and don’t forget special needs family members, Seniors, and your pets or livestock.
- Make a Family Emergency Plan (e.g. list of Emergency phone numbers, Meeting places, etc).
- Learn about different types of disasters and emergencies that may affect your area and, if you travel to other parts of the country for business or pleasure, learn what to do there too.
- Include children and seniors in discussions so they get a basic understanding of what could potentially happen during different types of scenarios. There are lots of kid-friendly tools and data available to help little ones understand what they need to think about and do.
- Learn how to protect your home and personal items to lessen the impact of disasters.
- Take a first aid class (or at least read about basic first aid and learn what you would need to expect and do). And ask local officials if they offer a CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) course in your area.
- Ask your employer what the emergency plans are for your office or building and, if you have children, talk to school officials and learn what their plans are for different types of emergency scenarios. Also ask about plans at nursing homes, day cares or any other places your loved ones frequent or live.
- Find the closest emergency shelters to your home, workplace and school. These are usually posted on the city or county Emergency Management Agency’s web site or call their office. Also think about where you would go if you had to be evacuated for days, weeks or months and discuss it with your family.
- Keep in mind some shelters may not allow pets so find out what motels or hotels allow critters or ask your vet or animal shelter if they would be able to board animals during a time of crisis.
- Get involved in your community and share ideas with neighbors, schools, youth groups, faith-based organizations, civic clubs and First Responders.
All of these things can be found on the Internet in various shapes and sizes ... or ... you can get all this (and more) in Fedhealth's "IT’S A DISASTER! …and what are YOU gonna do about it?" book. The 268-page paperback provides quick-reference instructional bullets about what people should think about and do to prepare for different types of disasters and emergencies, as well as how to administer basic first aid in one easy-to-use source.
Download some free topics and learn more here or contact Fedhealth at 1-888-999-4325. (Proceeds benefit American Preppers Network)
Or visit Ready.gov or call 1-800-BE-READY (TTY 1-800-462-7585)
Join the APN Forum at www.AmericanPreppersNetwork.net
Visit the Arizona Forum at www.ArizonaPreppersNetwork.net