September is National Preparedness Month, a time to focus on being prepared for all types of disasters, from natural to man-made. National Preparedness reminds us of the importance of being focused, having a plan, and staying informed. This year’s theme is, “Take Control in 1,2,3.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us that we need to be prepared for the unexpected. Many lives were changed and affected, and yet COVID-19 is still relevant today. Taking steps to prepare for future disasters, pandemics, and severe emergencies should not be taken lightly. Would you have prepared differently if you knew what was coming? National Preparedness Month Promotes community resilience by encouraging neighbors and local organizations to come together and build collective preparedness. Earlier this year, FEMA Administrator, Deanne Criswell announced that the 2023 focus would be preparing older adults and their caregivers ahead of disasters.
“September is National Preparedness Month, and during our month-long campaign to emphasize the importance of being ready when disaster strikes, FEMA is focused this year on providing information and resources to empower older adults as they make their own preparations,” said Administrator Criswell. “We are also underscoring the importance of involving caregivers in these conversations, as they are instrumental in our efforts to help this vital community before, during, and after disasters.”
Let’s discuss the “Take Control” steps recommended by the FEMA National Ready Campaign.
- Make a plan.
Create an emergency plan for your family and have a communication plan in place. Make sure that your phone is updated with their contact information and the location of where they plan to travel if evacuation is needed.
- Build a kit.
Create a list of specific items you will need depending on your family’s needs. Some essential items include food, water, a first-aid kit, a flashlight, and hygiene items just to name a few. Keeping copies of important documents such as birth certificates and insurance cards is recommended as well. According to The Red Cross, most Americans only have food for 24 hours; most should prepare for 3 days.
- Stay informed.
Know your community’s emergency plan and stay up to date on the latest information. Stay updated on local news and communicate with surrounding neighbors.
Everyone has a role to play in national preparedness. By taking steps to prepare for disasters, we can all help to make our communities safer and more resilient. Be on the lookout for barricade tape, high voltage signs, and PPE gear. All of these items are used to aid in disasters by warning the public and first responders.
Call 911 if you are in immediate danger, or if someone has been injured or is unconscious.
To report oil, chemical, or hazardous substance releases or spills, call the National Response Center at 800-424-8802.
For more information on national preparedness, visit the following websites: