Be Prepared – National Preparedness Month
September is National Preparedness Month. LFCS wants to help you be as prepared as possible. Over the next few weeks we’ll be updating our blog with suggestions on how to be better prepared for whatever might come your way.
Missouri has been impacted by numberous disaster across the state in recent years. We’ve had two federally declared flooding events (December 2015 and Spring 2017), multiple tornados, a major ice storm, and lots of seismic activity in the Southeastern region of the state. LFCS wants you to become better prepared for a natural disaster. Make a plan ahead of time for a safer, quicker recovery.
Making a Plan for Disasters
This can seem like a daunting task, but there are great resources to help you successfully plan ahead. FEMA has a program, Ready in 3, which was developed to do this very thing. You and your family can be better prepared for a disaster if you follow these four simple steps which can be found on the ready.gov/September website:
Step 1: Have a discussion about the following questions:
- How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
- What is my shelter plan?
- What is my evacuation plan?
- What is my family/household communication plan?
Each of these questions should be talked through so that everyone in your household knows what the plan is. Ready.gov has great suggestions for each of these questions to help you think through your options. Go to https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan and click on the link provided in each question so that you can have the best information available to helping develop your plan.
Step 2: Consider specific needs of your household.
Every household is unique and has a unique set of needs. Make a list of things that you need to include in your preparations. Each should be accounted for in your planning and have a way to address them. Talk through these concerns with the members of your household and make sure that everyone is aware of how they can help address each of them when a disaster happens. Things to consider:
- Age, dietary, and medical needs of each individual
- Medications and medical equipment
- Disabilities and access and functional needs and the equipment/devices for the needs
- Pets or service animals
- List locations frequented by each individual
- Assign responsibilities to each family member for assisting others
Step 3: Fill out a Emergency Plan
While developing your emergency plan you need to account for all of the considerations from Step 2. Establish a plan for where to meet and who is responsible for what. Consider as many options as possible.
- What to do during the work/school day
- What to do while at home
- Plan for specific disasters
- Remind each family member that during a disaster texting might be the most reliable way to communicate. Texts will often send even when phone calls cannot be completed.
- Have a list of contacts and places to check in. It is common that a phone call outside of the area will connect so make sure that everyone has the same out of town contact to check in with if the family is separated
- Have food and water for several days located in your safe space in your home.
- Flashlights, first aid, medications, etc
- Have a Go Bag ready with important documents (passports, birth certificates, home owner information, etc) that you can grab at a moments notice.
FEMA has great resources to use to help your family through this process. Click here to complete a plan.
Step 4: Practice your plan with your family/household