Gear Up for National Preparedness Month This September
September 6, 2022
Did you know that September is National Preparedness Month? The annual observation is led by government agencies like FEMA and the CDC, who are tasked with responding in times of national emergencies. But you should also do your part to be ready for an emergency. Here are a few tips to get you prepared to respond calmly in the face of a disaster.
Create a game plan. If your cell service suddenly went out or you couldn’t communicate via e-mail, would you and your family know how to move forward in the face of an emergency? It’s important to have a plan in place in case of a disaster. Designate a meeting spot in case of disaster—both at home and at your respective workplaces or schools. That way, you’ll know where to pick up your kids or meet them near your apartment, should you get separated.
Stock an emergency kit. If water and power are inaccessible for several days, you’ll want to have backups ready to go. Gather the materials for an emergency kit now so you aren’t scrambling when something happens. It should definitely include water bottles, a few days’ worth of shelf-stable meals and snacks, and, of course, a few flashlights with extra batteries. You’ll also probably want to stock a first aid kit (think bandaids, antibacterial spray or gel, and gauze), as well as a paper map of the area and a few cell phone chargers.
Know your community’s emergency numbers. If you’re in immediate danger, calling 911 is the way to go. But what about less urgent situations? Do you know who to get in touch with? Check out this primer for guidance on what to do in case of a toxic spill or poisoning, including who to follow on social media for updates. Jot down the relevant numbers, along with your local police station and fire station, and stow the hard copy in your emergency kit.
Practice a panic-free response. The most important aspect of any emergency response is remaining calm, even in the face of danger. Practice your disaster plan enough times to feel confident but not stressed. You may always want to incorporate a minute or two of meditation into the plan in order to bring stress levels down in the case of a true emergency.
National Preparedness Month [Ready.gov]
September is Preparedness Month [EPA]