I know I should have an emergency plan, but even thinking about it makes me anxious. What are some small steps I can take to get a little bit more prepared?
Why is the only time we think about getting prepared when disaster has already struck? So often, we hear about disasters and think I really should get a plan and things together in case of an emergency, but most of us never get around to doing anything about it. September is National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. On their website, www.ready.gov , they list the simple steps to take to get your family prepared for an emergency.
- Get a Kit. When preparing for an emergency, it is important to think about the basics for survival. The big 4 that we suggest are water, cash, food, and a first aid kit. Make sure that your kit has enough supplies for each family member for five days. In terms of water, make sure you allot one gallon per person per day.
- Pick a Meeting Spot. Make sure that your family has a meeting place close to home and out-of-town in case of an emergency. It is also important to have a family contact that is out-of-state who can separately communicate with all family members. In case of an emergency that does not require an evacuation, talk to your neighbors about how everyone can work together during an emergency. Make sure everyone knows the plan and stick to it! Once you have a plan, set aside a family dinner every six months to review together.
- Stay Informed. The more you know about what to do when the unexpected occurs, the better your decisions will be if disaster strikes. Find out what disasters your area is the most at risk for and what the appropriate way is to respond to them. Also, once you have organized the basics, spend some time thinking about the extra things that your family may need such as prescriptions and glasses. Just remember, you can never be too prepared! For complete emergency preparedness information, visit www.ready.gov .