National Preparedness Month
Be over prepared and under whelmed when preparing for emergencies.
September is the time to start saying goodbye to the healing warmth of Summer and welcome cooler days, the changing colors of Fall and yes, college football! But more importantly, September is National Preparedness Month and with that, the opportunity to re-visit and inventory your emergency plans, supplies and capabilities at home and work.
It doesn't take long, especially if you have developed a Culture of Preparedness and always have those "what ifs" in your mind. It's kind of like an audit or inspection. When notice is received, an ant-like army makes herculean efforts to be ready. If you are audit ready, everyday, there is not near as much wasted energy and apprehension. The exact same thing can be said about emergency preparedness. At Plangisitics, our staff are all seasoned emergency management professionals and have made a career out of building and living a Culture of Preparedness. We are always ready to help share our experiences and help you keep your family and co-workers safe. This month I want to make several posts about simple steps to take in conducting your EmergencyReady Inventory. First lets start with the basics:
Nationwide we live in culturally, geographically, and technologically different worlds, and we may face different hazards. So make a list of what can hurt you. Certainly a fire in your house when you are alerted by the smoke alarm is a common hazard. Other common hazards can include power and utility outages, hazardous material spills, as well as severe weather including tornadoes, floods and winter storms. Some of us face an increased risk of a catastrophic incident such as earthquakes and hurricanes. Naturally, if you live in Montana, you aren't likely to have to deal with the hurricane hazard of Florida, but then they don't face the same winter weather threats you do. So make a list of what can hurt you, your family and co-workers, and include them in the discussions.
Take your hazard list and look at common elements of each item. The hazard most likely will require an informed decision on whether or not to evacuate or shelter in place. There is no doubt about the need to evacuate in a house fire, but some hazards rapidly develop and have no notice such as an earthquake or wildfire. Plan your evacuation route, a meeting place, and what supplies will be needed. We will discuss the evolving nature of "Go Bags" in a later posting this month.
How do you communicate with other family members, friends and neighbors? Are you knowledgeable enough to assist with helping others? Do you include your family pets in your plans, preparations and supplies? Make an honest evaluation if you should shelter in place or evacuate. Are you ready for the months of hardship for example after a major hurricane strike? If you choose to evacuate, have multiple location options, know your primary and secondary routes. And again make a wise and adult decision when to evacuate. Do you want to share the road with a million extra drivers? Go early!
I hope this gives you a basic starting point for your September inventory. Remember two important elements when planning and preparing for an emergency, 1) It's always better to over prepared and under whelmed that under prepared and over whelmed, and 2) Don't gamble with the lives or your loved ones!
We are here to help YOU, become EmergencyReady!