National Preparedness Month: Be Informed
We are halfway through National Preparedness Month. Hopefully you've already created a disaster kit and made a plan for you and your family. Learning what to do before, during and after an emergency can save money and your life. A common myth is that if you don't live in an area that experiences hurricanes, tornadoes, and/or earthquakes, then you don't need to be concerned with natural disasters. If anything, this is reason to prepare. People who live in areas regularly effected by natural disasters are more prepared due to the frequency they experience these events. Everyone is susceptible to flooding, fires, or even a man-made hazard like the chemical spill into West Virginia's water supply, or even terrorism.
Bottom line: we should all be prepared to survive at home for at least 3 full days.
What Type of Disasters and Emergencies are Possible in your Area?
It's safe to say if you live in California, you should be prepared for an earthquake. There are some situations we should all prepare for though. These include: pandemics, flooding and terrorist hazards. Do you know your local government's plan should one of these events occur? If not, it's worth looking into. Local agencies plan and train for worst case scenarios. Informing yourself as to what their plans are can help you better prepare your household for the unexpected. If you live somewhere predisposed to natural disasters, like Florida, your local and state government will likely have material readily available, otherwise, you may need to do some digging.
Utilize Social Media
Many agencies have Twitter accounts now. These Twitter accounts are regularly updated with news and useful information. During an emergency, you can get updates from these accounts in real-time. You can read more about using social media in disasters here.
Know What to Look for:
Sometimes a disaster isn't obvious. Again, the West Virgina chemical spill is a great example of this. Many residents noticed an odd odor coming from their faucets. If you notice something out of the ordinary like a strange odor, or maybe even something that just looks out of place, report it to your local authorities.
We have covered assembling a disaster kit. Next we discussed creating an in depth plan for your family. Now it's your turn to gather facts for where you live. For more information on what you can do to prepare for a disaster, and more events during National Preparedness Month, visit the CDC website.