Always be ready, always be prepared
As COVID-19 continues to influence our lives in new ways and as wildfires and hurricanes continue to plague the coasts, this year greatly highlights the importance of preparation. Make a plan, have emergency supplies and be ready, because disasters don’t wait until you’re done for the day.
There are four stages to follow when preparing according to Ready.gov, the official website of the United States Department of Homeland Security.
1. Make a plan
2. Build a kit
3. Prepare for disasters
4. Teach youth about preparedness
The first step of preparation is to make a plan. Consider the types of disasters that could hit your area. It is likely that disaster will strike when your family is in separate locations, so designate a known meeting place everyone will go to.
Have methods of communicating other than traditional phones, like a two-way radio set. Ensure that you have a shelter or “safe-house” location. If you do need to leave the area, be sure to have an evacuation plan.
Consider if your family has any specific needs to look out for. This can range from special dietary needs to physical care such as disabilities or health problems. Make room for these things in your supply stash.
Create specific emergency guidelines in case the disaster does reach you. This way you and others around you know how to react if things don’t go entirely as planned.
After all of your planning is done, practice with your family! Be sure that everybody knows what to do, how to access supplies and what to do in case of emergency.
The next thing to do is build a kit. These are sometimes referred to as “bug-out bags.” They are what the name suggests; easily transportable bags filled with essentials to survive on your own. They should include preserved food, water, flashlights, batteries, radios and other such materials.
With these steps checked off, it’s time to actually prepare for disasters. Similar to initial planning, be conscious of what disasters your area is susceptible too. Be sure that you will be able to receive emergency alerts and updates. And most importantly, set up your survival kit accordingly.
Lastly, teach others about preparedness. Once you’ve done all of the planning, share that information with your family. It’s equally important that everyone in your household knows what to do in case of disaster. This ensures individual and group survival, and further preparation for the future.
So with all of this, it can absolutely seem like copious checklists and planning are required, but that’s the name of the game with preparedness. It is all about being prepared.
Disasters don’t wait for you. Always being ready can ensure your own as well as others’ survival. Take the time this September to evaluate how prepared you really are. It can save you in unpredictable times.