Eight Simple Ways to be Prepared for a Disaster
You're not sure what, but something is pulling you to up your preparedness game, and Keep Texas Beautiful applauds you. Recently, the great state of Texas has seen a lot of natural disasters and other emergencies that leave us thinking about how our life could change in an instant.
We can't avoid disasters, but we can prepare ourselves and our family for them. But where do we begin when there are so many challenges to prepare for?
Instead of feeling overwhelmed, focus on small, achievable preparedness goals that have concrete results. Here are some examples:
1. Identify Your Risk
What are the hazards where you live or work?
If you are unsure, visit your county details here: 2013 CHAMP Reports by County
2. Create an Individual or Family Disaster Plan
Your plan details where to meet if you need to evacuate; and whom you've identified as an out-of-state contact. Emergency Plan in Just 3 Steps
3. Practice Your Disaster Plan
According to Emergency Essentials, now that you've written the perfect plan it's time to practice it! Build excitement and motivation for the drill by making it a friendly completion. The "winner" could choose a treat or special event if they win. The practice must be so regular that when the actual disaster strikes everybody acts according to the plan without thought.
4. Build a Disaster Supply Kit for Your Home and Vehicle
Have you ever noticed how, whenever a big storm is predicted, people start rushing to stores to clean them out of every food and supply item they have on the shelves? Why not have a stash of items always ready instead of being amongst the panicked searching for that last loaf of bread. Here's how to Get Started.
According to the National Safety Council, every vehicle should have an Emergency Supply Kit and should be checked every six months. Keeping your gas tank filled, or at least ¾ full is critical to making sure you and your vehicle are ready to get you and your family safely away from danger.
5. Prepare Your Children
They make us laugh and fill our world with joy. Children are more vulnerable than adults in emergency situations. This is why we take special steps to make sure they're safe all year long. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have some wonderful resources for you. Helping Children Cope.
6. Pet Disaster Preparedness
Pets are family – do you have a plan for your pet in an emergency? Including pets in emergency plans helps the family's ability to respond to an emergency. According to RedRover, there are five animal disaster preparedness essentials, can you guess what they are? Check Your Answers Here.
7. You Are the Help Until Help Arrives
Learn Five Simple Steps that may save a life. Each one of us might need to provide help until responders arrive, this is why it's so important to get involved, learn new skills and volunteer to help in our neighborhood and community.
8. Understand Man-Made Disasters
Emergency preparedness means being ready for all kinds of disasters and able to respond in times of crisis to save lives and property. Man-made hazards often occur with little or no warning. Here is some Basic Information to equip yourself and your loved ones should the need arise.
Thank you for reading this blog post and for taking the time to become prepared. I know that your life is busy, you have many obligations that pull you in multiple directions. Planning for something that may never happen might be at the very bottom of your list. If you could begin to prepare just a little bit by starting step 1, you're going to be a lot better off than if you didn't start. Remember that no matter what, the priority is taking care of yourself and your family. That always starts with a plan. So get started today! You'll be glad you did.
For more resources on emergency planning and community resiliency, visit our Disaster Resource Library.
Blog Post Written by Cheryl Price, Community Resilience Coordinator.