As you may or may not know, September is National Preparedness Month! Following the disasters of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) decided it was time to educate the public on how to be more prepared for potential crises. In February 2003, FEMA launched the Ready campaign to get the public more involved; FEMA wants us to be ready to face disasters rather than panicking and waiting for government assistance. The Ready campaign consists of four key factors to be more prepared when disaster strikes: 1) be informed 2) make a plan 3) build a kit and 4) get involved. The more everyone knows about emergency preparedness, the more ready we’ll be to face these disasters when they actually happen. Let’s get deeper into the details, shall we?
1) Be informed
Disasters come in all different forms. They can be natural disasters such as earthquakes or man-made such as terrorist attacks. Whether these disasters are natural or man-made, it is best for us to stay informed on how to handle these situations. This year, the Ready campaign’s focus is on seasonal preparedness and how to deal with weather hazards such as tornados, floods, thunder/lightning, and fires. Throughout California, we’ve been struggling with rough fires and a statewide drought so it’s crucial to know how to respond to these situations. Some helpful sites that emphasize preparedness are FEMA, Ready.gov, and the American Red Cross.
2) Make a plan
During emergencies and disasters, your family could get separated from each other. It’s best to have a meeting spot already decided on before disaster strikes. That way, everyone already knows where to go and meet up to make sure no one is missing. There wouldn’t be any panicking and running back to the house, where there could be a fire blocking your way. More information can be found here.
3) Build a kit
In case you’re forced to evacuate your home, you should have a 72-hour survival kit already packed to go. The kit should contain basic necessities you’d need during a disaster. This ranges from food, water, clothes, tools, and money to last you at least three days. You should have your 72-hour kit packed and stored in a place that’s easily accessed in times of disaster. A list of things you need in your kit can be found here.
4) Get involved
To increase emergency preparedness among the public, there are ways you can get involved to spread the word. You can volunteer or donate to help those in need during disasters. You could also take part in training and share your knowledge of emergency preparedness. You could even do something as simple as sharing these graphics on your social media profiles.
The possibilities are endless but the ultimate goal is the same — to increase the public’s knowledge of emergency preparedness and response to disasters. Ever since Hurricane Katrina, FEMA has been doing a great job. It’s now up to us to share our knowledge and increase the awareness of emergency and disaster preparedness. I’ve taken a class in emergency preparedness. I volunteer with American Red Cross to inform others about fire safety. But I still have yet to build my own 72-hour kit, which I actually have to do for one of my classes this semester.
If disaster struck tomorrow, would you and your family be prepared? If not, how would you prepare for it? Let me know in the comments. And if you want to see more posts similar to this, please like and subscribe. Have a lovely day and happy planning!