Each September the Federal Government designates September as “National Preparedness Month.” This year, with the onset of the impact of the storms across the southern States, the need to take this emphasis seriously has never been so straight-forward.
While on the one hand, we are all busy and likely are not search for “one more thing to do,” it is importance to look ahead and plan accordingly. It is for this reason that we are reminding our community members that this month is National Preparedness month.
governments, as well as private and public organizations were urging every citizen to create an emergency preparedness plan. The focus targeted the month of September which each year is designated as “Preparedness Month,”
One of the Government websites (CDC) provides a thorough look at preparedness while providing practical focused steps of action, as wee as links to specific aspects of preparation. In order to make it practical in the midst of our busy schedules, it is broken down into weekly steps of action, as follows:
Week 1: READY… Build a kit. Make a plan. Be informed.
Many emergencies happen without warning, so it is important that you take steps ahead of time to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy. One important way you can prepare is by having a kit ready in case you do not have access to food, water, or electricity for several days after a disaster. In addition to building a kit, talk to your loved ones about an emergency plan with the steps you all will take in different types of emergencies and how you will contact one another. Finally, stay informed to make sure you get the information you need when an emergency happens, especially the types of emergencies that might happen in your area.
Week 2: STEADY…Review your plans and update your kit.
Preparing does not stop after you have your kit ready and your emergency plan in place. In a real emergency, you may become overwhelmed or confused, so it is important to practice your emergency plan – review the plans and have practice drills with your whole family. Review and replace the contents of your emergency kit every six months. Be sure to check expiration dates on food, water, medicine, and batteries and add any personal items that are unique to your needs.
Week 3: SHOW… Inspire others to prepare.
Research shows that talking about preparedness increases the likelihood of others taking steps to get prepared. Talk to your family and friends about the important steps they can take to be prepared. Be a preparedness role model – volunteer in your community, take a first aid and CPR class, or share a photo of your emergency kit or a selfie of you and your family at your emergency meeting place.
Week 4: GO! Take immediate action to save lives.
It is vital that people take not only immediate but also the appropriate protective action when an emergency happens. Local officials will ask you to shelter in place (take shelter in a basement or windowless interior room) in some situations; and to evacuate your home, workplace or community in response in others. For example, a wildfire or an approaching hurricane. Know when to go (or stay), where to go, how to get there and what to do BEFORE an emergency. The most important thing is to take immediate and decisive action.
If you would like to consider alternate approaches to preparation and/or learn more, the following websites may also be of interest to you:
Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/be-red-cross-ready
Pierce County Emergency Management: http://www.co.pierce.wa.us/index.aspx?NID=945
Thurston County Emergency Management: http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/em/Links/Links.htm#Personal%20Prep
King County Emergency Management: http://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/emergency-management/preparedness.aspx
Please take a moment to consider the options and then prioritize taking action in the direction of preparedness. As mentioned, none of us are looking to add to our existing “to-do list.” That said, a bit of preparation never hurts any of us!