National Preparedness Month serves as a reminder that we all must take action to prepare, not only during the month of September, but throughout the year, for different types of disasters and emergencies that can happen throughout the world.
There are key steps that every household can take to be better prepared.
Plan for the emergencies that are most likely to happen where you live:
- Be familiar with natural disaster risks in your community.
- Consider how you will respond to emergencies that can happen anywhere, such as home fires and floods.
- Consider how you will respond to emergencies that are unique to your region, such as volcanoes, tsunamis or tornadoes.
- Think about emergencies that may require your family to shelter in place (such as a winter storm), vs. emergencies that may require evacuation (such as a hurricane).
- Take time to learn lifesaving skills − such as CPR and first aid.
- Check your insurance policies and coverage for the hazards you may face, such as flood, earthquakes, and tornados.
- Make sure to consider the costs associated with disasters and save for an emergency.
- Know how to take practical safety steps like shutting off water and gas.
The Red Cross recommends that you practice evacuating your home twice a year.
- Grab your emergency kit, just like you would in a real emergency, then drive your planned evacuation route. Plot alternate routes on your map in case roads are impassable.
- Plan ahead for your pets. Keep a phone list of pet-friendly hotels/motels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes. Remember, if it’s not safe for you to stay home, it’s not safe for your pets either.
It’s also important to maintain an emergency food supply as a key element of your preparedness plan. Conditions can change quickly, no matter where you live, and food can go from readily available to scarce in a matter of days. With a freeze dryer, you can easily create your own emergency food supply and have peace of mind that you’ll be prepared in the event of an unexpected emergency.
We encourage you to take time this month to create a disaster plan. Often, you will be the first ones in your communities to take action after a disaster strikes, and before first responders arrive, so it is important to prepare in advance to help yourself and your community.