From devastating hurricanes to wildfires to tornados, it’s important for all of us to be prepared for a natural disaster. When disaster strikes we, as community members, will be the first ones to act long before the first responders arrive. This year’s Ready.gov overarching theme for National Preparedness Month is “Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.” Take Ready.gov’s approach and prepare now. Here is a list of ways to help you start:
Create and practice your fire escape plan at home
The last thing we expect is a fire at home but preparing for the unexpected is extremely important. Fire escape plans are important because predetermining what you and your family will do prior to the fire will save you precious minutes that can make a lasting impact.
When planning your fire escape plan, you will want to consider everyone in your family. Make each fire escape route doable for the youngest and the oldest and anyone who has special circumstances. Create two escape routes. You never know where the fire will start, have multiple escape plans just in case. When creating your escape plan, involve everyone who lives in the house. Choose a meeting spot once you are all out of the house. This is important, so you’re not worried about where to meet your family once there is a fire.
Once you create this plan, it is important for you to practice. The more you practice the better you will remember the plan, creating a safer evacuation if there is a fire.
Download the FEMA app to get weather alerts for up to five locations (i.e. home, school, office, cabin, etc)
FEMA stands for Federal Emergency Management Agency and their mission is to help people before, during and after disasters. Meaning, this is a free service for you and your family to use for information and resources pertaining to your circumstances.
Take a class to learn CPR and first aid
When a natural disaster strikes, there are often times injuries that result from it. Prep yourself and your family for these injuries by taking a first aid and CPR class. There are plenty of places that offer these classes, theRed Crossis a great resource.
Check your insurance policy for coverage of hazards you may face in your neighborhood
The last thing you want to think of when faced with a natural disaster is how are you going to afford it. So, prior to any destruction, check in with your insurance company. Does your policy cover the type of natural disasters that are possible in your area? If not, it may be time to switch polices.
Understand the costs associated with a disaster and start an emergency fund
Insurance will help but we all know that there will be costs associated with a natural disaster. Saving ahead of time for home repairs, car replacements or medical bills will alleviate some of the financial burden you may face after a natural disaster.
Disasters can strike at any given moment, so we should always be ready. September is a great month to prepare you and your family. Each week in September, Ready.gov will focus on a specific area:
Week 1: Sept 1- 8 Make and practice your plan
Week 2: Sept 9 – 15 Learn lifesaving skills
Week 3: Sept 16 – 22 Check your insurance coverage
Week 4: Sept 23 – 29 Save for an emergency
Ready.gov has great information on all of these focus areas and as well as information about getting involved in your community and how to prepare your kids. Check out the helpful resources at https://www.ready.gov/
Have a disaster plan already in place? Share it with us!