National Preparedness Month is recognized each September to promote family and community disaster planning now and throughout the year.
As our communities continue to respond to COVID-19 and the special challenges presented by this pandemic, there is no better time than now to begin preparing for a natural disaster such as a wildfire, flooding, hurricane, extreme heat, or other crisis.
The bad news is that disasters don’t wait. They are inevitable, and in some cases, unpredictable. The good news is there are plenty of steps we can each take to minimize the effects of them on ourselves and the ones we love.
The first step in minimizing the effects of a disaster is planning. Making a plan means talking to friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster. Consider the special needs in your household and create an emergency plan for all members of the family. All members of the household can benefit from practicing the plan ahead of time so they are prepared at a moment’s notice. Need help with your plan? Visit www.ready.gov/plan for tips and resources.
The second step is building a kit. After a disaster, you may need to survive on your own for several days. This means gathering supplies that will last for everyone living in your home. And don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly. To get started, including ideas of what should be on your checklist, visit www.ready.gov/kit.
The third step is knowing what disasters and hazards could affect your area. Sign up for emergency alerts in your local area and learn how to make your house stronger in the face of storms or other common hazards. Learn more preparation tips at www.ready.gov/be-informed.
And lastly, talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies. That means discussing what to do in case you are separated in the event of an emergency and reassuring them with tools and information to help before, during, and after disasters. No matter the age of your child – kid or teen – find more child-friendly resources at www.ready.gov/kids.
Disaster’s don’t wait – neither should you! Get started today at www.ready.gov.