Each September is designated as National Preparedness Month. During that time, the federal government, as well as local governments and nonprofit organizations, work to emphasize the importance of preparation and to teach families what to do. This year’s theme is “Prepared, Not Scared.” Each week has its own focus.
Week 1: Save Early for Disaster Costs
Many Americans have little or no savings. If you don’t have an emergency fund, start setting aside money in case a disaster occurs. You should also have some cash on hand in case a power outage renders credit card readers and ATMs unusable.
Now is a good time to review your home insurance. Most standard policies don’t include flood coverage. If you live in a flood zone, consider obtaining a separate flood insurance policy.
If you need to file an insurance claim, it will be easier if you have important documents, such as your policy and other records, readily available. Taking pictures of them with your cell phone can make them easily accessible.
Week 2: Make a Plan
Talk to your family (both adults and children) and create an emergency plan. Make sure everyone has necessary phone numbers and knows how to get in touch if a disaster occurs when you are separated. Collect at least three days’ worth of nonperishable food, water, and medicine, as well as toys, stuffed animals, and other comfort items for children. Practice fire drills twice a year. Make sure you know how to turn off the utilities in your home and how to get to an emergency shelter.
Week 3: Youth Preparedness
A disaster is scary and overwhelming for adults, but it can be even worse for children, who often don’t fully understand what is happening or know how to respond. Talking to your kids about what to do in an emergency can put all your minds at ease. Make sure your children’s schools have up-to-date contact information. Talk to their teachers or principals about the schools’ emergency plans.
Week 4: Get Involved in Your Community’s Preparedness
Learn about potential hazards in your area and how to prepare for a disaster. Community Emergency Response Teams train volunteers to help their local communities when disasters strike. If possible, get involved by volunteering yourself or with members of your family. If you aren’t able to volunteer on a regular basis, you can still be prepared to help by taking courses in first aid and CPR and by checking on neighbors, particularly those who are elderly or disabled, if a disaster strikes.
Make Sure You Have Emergency Supplies
Disasters can occur anywhere at any time. The effects can be devastating, but being prepared can make things less chaotic and may even save lives. Talk to your family and members of your community about how to prepare and make sure you have emergency supplies on hand. 1st Aid Supplies sell emergency food and water, first aid kits, flashlights, and other supplies. Stock up today.