Are you thinking about preparedness this month?
September is National Preparedness Month and it’s a big deal for us in the preparedness community. While we always want you to be prepared, this month has a special focus.
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This year the national theme is “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.” and each week has a theme to help you focus on getting your plan together and helping your community. The topic is certainly timely for those of us affected by Hurricane Harvey. Whether you’re working on clean-up or volunteering for those in need, here are some ideas to get started on your own preps.
Don’t be overwhelmed, choose at least 5 quick tips for each week and you’ll be surprised how far you can get towards planning ahead.
Week 1: (September 1-9) Make a Plan for Yourself, Family and Friends
- Make an emergency plan by following ideas on this page.
- Sign up for alerts and warnings in your area. Get the @fema app with weather alerts for up to 5 locations
- Learn your evacuation zone and have an evacuation plan.
- Check your insurance coverage and review the Document and Insure Property guide.
- Plan financially for the possibility of disaster
- Download a group texting app so your entire crew can keep in touch before, during & after an emergency.
- Practice evacuating in the car with your animals, so they’re more comfortable if you need to evacuate in an emergency.
- Protect your identity: watch out for fraud and scams, and keep your personal info secure.
- Beware of frauds & scams when seeking disaster assistance. Federal/state workers never ask for/accept money and always carry IDs.
- Financial prep tip: flood-proof important documents by putting them in plastic bags to protect against water damage.
- Keep some cash on hand in case of emergencies.
Week 2: (September 10-16) Plan to Help Your Neighbor and Community
- Learn skills you need to help yourself and others until help can arrive.
- Take Until Help Arrives training. It’s online and free.
- Check on your neighbors.
- Talk with your Power Company about utility safety.
- On National Prepare-a-thon Day, Friday, September, 15, hold an event.
Week 3: (September 17-23) Practice and Build Out Your Plans
- Complete an Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK)
- Maintain emergency savings for use in case of an emergency.
- Participate in an emergency drill.
- Know how to access community resources (e.g., shelters, food banks)
- What important docs should you have in your emergency kit? The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit explains them all.
- How will you pay your bills if a disaster strikes? Disasters don’t plan ahead, you can!
- Have at least a one-week supply of medications.
- Flood insurance policies have a 30-day waiting period before they go into effect. Plan now for floods.
Week 4: (September 24-30) Get Involved! Be a Part of Something Larger
- Get your campus, business, faith-based organization, and community organization prepared for an emergency.
- Join Weather Ready Nation.
- Sign up for Ready Business Workshop.
- Learn about CERT Training in your area.
You can head on over to the Ready.gov website for more information about specific disasters so you can be informed and be prepared.