National Preparedness Month, recognized each September, provides an opportunity to remind us that we all must prepare ourselves and our families now and throughout the year. This is an iniative recognized nationwide through a number of organizations.
With September being National Preparedness Month, there’s no better time to make sure you are prepared for an emergency like the present. While becoming prepared can seem like quite the effort and take a lot of time, it can actually be a fun bonding experience for the entire family.
The first step is compiling an emergency kit. The Red Cross provides survival kits with the proper supplies you may need in case of an emergency or natural disaster. However, you can also build your own! You should have the following in your kit:
- Water (at least one gallon per person per day)
- Food, such as non-perishable and easy-to-prepare items
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Copies of personal documents
- Family and emergency contact information
To see the whole list, visit https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/survival-kit-supplies.html.
The next step is to make a plan. Discuss with your family how to prepare and respond to different types of emergencies that are most likely to happen, including fires, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Designate responsibilities to each family member making sure each one knows their part in keeping everyone safe. Finally, practice your plan! You can find free templates of disaster plans here: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/make-a-plan.html.
Finally, be informed. Learn about the different types of emergencies and disasters that may occur in your area and how local authorities plan to notify you. Know what actions to take to protect yourself and your family, and create emergency contact cards for all household members. Get your Emergency contact card template here: https://www.redcross.org/content/dam/redcross/National/m4240194_ECCard.pdf