According to www.Ready.gov, the official website of the Department of Homeland Security, September is designated as National Preparedness Month to “promote family and community disaster and emergency planning now and throughout the year.” The theme for 2019 is “Prepared, Not Scared” and each week has its own theme and point of focus. This week, September 1 through 7, is “save early for disaster costs,” September 8 through 14 focuses on making a plan to prepare for disasters, September 15 through 21 is dedicating to teaching youth to prepare for disasters and the final week is about getting involved in one’s community preparedness plan.
One of the important parts of being prepared is having an emergency disaster kit. This can include everything from important documents and flashlights (plus batteries!) to water bottles and food with a long shelf life, such as Traina® Home Grown dried fruit, which does not need to be refrigerated prior to opening and requires no prep to enjoy. The site recommends that putting a “small amount from each paycheck to go into your savings account” can help people be financially prepared in case of emergency. But it’s also a good idea to keep some cash in an emergency kit as well in case ATMS or credit cards readers are not available.
Another preparedness tip from the www.Ready.gov website is to make an emergency plan and discuss it with the family as well as a plan in the event that the parts of the family are in different locations when disaster strikes. The site recommends starting the plan by asking the following questions:
- How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
- What is my shelter plan?
- What is my evacuation route?
- What is my family/household communication plan
Other tips include specifications of the family including everything from dietary needs and prescription medications to ages and levels of care required (from babies and children to elderly and those with special needs) — and don’t forget about beloved household pets. Once a plan is in place, the site recommends practicing it with all members of the family so it can be carried out calmly if an emergency strikes.
For those that want to get involved in their community’s preparedness plan and be a leader in the development of it and carrying it out if a disaster occurs can become trained and certified to assist. Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) train volunteers to prepare for disasters. Volunteers can go to www.community.fema.gov/Register/Register_Search_Programs to search for a local CERT program or Citizen Corps Council. The site also suggests other tips for community preparedness such as taking classes in CPR/AED and first aid, checking in with neighbors to help one another in case of an emergency and more.
Whether it’s during National Preparedness Month or any time of year, the Traina family encourages people to become educated about the ways they can prepare for disaster. It’s important to #PrepareNow and #BeReady!