September is National Preparedness Month

This month we are reminded to plan and prepare for disasters.  The Department of Homeland Security and the Red Cross want us to be aware of simple steps we can take in our pledge to prepare

We have already seen a number of disasters this year, including tornadoes, floods, wildfires, and most recently, Hurricane Isaac.  It is important to plan in advance as your family may not be together when disaster strikes.  Things to discuss with your family would be how you plan to get to a safe place, how you will contact each other, how you will meet back up and what you will do in different “what if” situations.

Making a plan involves a few simple steps that you and your family can do together.  Here is a helpful list:

  • Have enough supplest to last at least 3 days.
  • Designate locations where you can meet your family and also, designate an out-of-area contact.
  • Create an emergency supply kit. Include at least 3 days worth of water, non-perishable food, a first aid kit, prescription and non-prescription medicine, batteries, weather radio, soap, toilet paper, clothing and bedding.
  • Learn first aid, CPR and how to use an Automated External Defibrillator.
  • Learn how to turn off utilities in you home.  

Other important things to discuss and consider:

  1. “What if” questions. “If this happens… what are we going to do?”
  2. Your plan will have to be tailored to everyone in your family depending on their age and abilities.
  3. Do you have a plan for your pets?
  4. You can sign up to get monthly preparedness tips from FEMA by texting PREPARE to 43362

Disaster can strike at any time and being prepared is a family’s best defense. Click here to access your own Family Emergency Plan that FEMA has created for you to fill out and keep a copy of in your emergency kit.

This blog was written by Litchfield RN Case Manager, Becky Macik.