September is National Preparedness Month and with the current news of Hurricane Harvey on every outlet, it’s never too late to prepare. No matter where you live, emergency preparedness is important and simple to plan. Here is how you can ensure that your house and family are prepared for the next storm or disaster.
Make an emergency supply kit. If the power is out for a few days you may think you have time to run to the grocery store. The reality is that by the time you get there most people have had the same idea and supplies will be depleted. If you purchase these things beforehand you not only have food and water for a few days but you will save gas. You will want to pack for three to five days. This will include a gallon of water per person per day and foods that will not spoil and are easy to make such as canned soup. Health supplies include a first aid kit and medicines as needed. If you or a loved one takes prescription medication, make sure it is filled if you know a bad storm is coming. Other items for your kit can include a battery powered or wind up radio, extra batteries, a flashlight, and a multipurpose tool. If you have pets, make sure they have supplies as well including food, water, and toiletry items such as litter or trash bags. These are basic items to use as a foundation for what your family needs.
Have a plan and practice. Map out your home and sit down with your kids on where to meet if a disaster hits. Write out a communication plan if you are all separated. Make sure everyone knows how to send a text message and what the emergency numbers are. Give everyone a responsibility so that every detail is covered and everyone has something to take care of.
Sign up for emergency alerts. The NOAA weather radio station broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have not disabled them, you can get alerts on your cell phone. If you are not at home when disaster strikes, there are still ways to stay prepared. Keep an emergency kit in your car in case you get stranded. If you have children, talk with their schools or daycare to see how they handle emergency situations. In your communication plan, figure out who you need to call or text you and your family is separated.