Here Comes September
The month of September brings a handful of changes to our busy lives. It’s usually the time of year where we ask ourselves what happened to summer and have to quickly adjust to the new season that awaits us. As our days get shorter and the little ones get ready to embark on a new school year we sometimes get lost in our hectic schedules and forget about the dangers that the new season brings. Thankfully, September is National Preparedness Month.
This is the tenth anniversary of National Preparedness Month which is aimed at encouraging Americans to take the proper steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities. The September observance is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) which has laid out specifics that help in your preparation and planning efforts. So how about you; are you prepared for the next disaster and the aftermath that ensues?
Emergencies can happen in the blink of an eye and can happen anywhere. Recently we’ve literally seen the earth open up, swallowing homes into sinkholes in a flash. Tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes and power outages are just a sample of incidents that require a change in behavior and actions to keep you and your loved ones safe. This might sound like a scare tactic, but the reality is the inevitable is bound to happen and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Preparation is Everything
FEMA recommends that you prepare and plan for a minimum of three days without electricity, water services, access to the supermarket, and other local services. They provide the following four steps to help you through the process:
- Stay Informed: Information is available from federal, state, local, tribe, and territorial resources. Ready.gov is an excellent starting point and will provide information throughout an emergency. It is important to stay up on all forms of media for information because you never know what you will have access to.
- Make a Plan: It is important that everyone knows what to do in the event of an emergency. Make sure that you discuss, agree on, and then document your emergency plan in an easily accessible location. Ready.gov has sample plans that will get you started or at least give you a foundation to work off. Always try to involve your community as well. It is important to have unity with your neighbors in order to get through an emergency without issues.
- Build a Kit: You should have enough supplies in your kit to last a minimum of three days. This includes water, nonperishable food, first aid, prescriptions, clothing, blankets, flashlight, and a battery or hand powered radio. Don’t forget the batteries!
- Get Involved: Take advantage of the many ways to get involved in your community. Involving yourself in your community allows you to participate in programs and activities that help make their families, homes, and places of worship safer from risks and threats. Getting through a disaster or emergency is much easier when you have community support rather than trying to do it on your own.
This year FEMA has released some very clever and funny ads to promote the September observance. Although state of emergencies don’t generally involve humor, it’s nice way to break the ice and get people talking about and planing their preparation plan. Humor can be a powerful tool for communication so if that’s what it takes, then by all means go for it.
To go along with the ads FEMA has also released an infographic (shown below) that details specifics about National Preparedness Month. Again, visual tools are a powerful form of communication.
Being the difference maker is a lot easier than you think. The simple steps outlined here can be the difference in your families health and well-being in the event of an emergency. Don’t wait until it is to late to do something. September is here and the time is now to be apart of National Preparedness Month.