The Power in Preparation
September is National Preparedness Month
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Preparedness Month is a yearly observance “to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time.” During a prolonged power outage or other emergency, this means having enough food, water and supplies to last at least a few days. While you don’t have to achieve a “doomsday prepper” level of readiness, there are several practical steps you can take to keep you and your family safe.
Here are general guidelines recommended by FEMA:
- Assemble a grab-and-go disaster kit. Include items like nonperishable food, water (1 gallon per person, per day), diapers, batteries, flashlights, prescription medications, a first-aid kit, a battery-powered radio and phone chargers. Add supplies for your pets, too.
- Develop a plan for communicating with family and friends (i.e., via text, social media, third party, etc.).
- Have some extra cash available; during a power outage, electronic card readers and cash machines may not work.
- Store important documents (birth certificates, property deed, etc.) in safe place away from home (for example, a bank safe deposit box).
- Fill your car with gas.
- Bring pets indoors at the first sign of a storm or other emergency. Pets can become disoriented and frightened during severe weather and may wander off during an emergency.
- Microchip your pet, and ensure the contact information is up to date.
- Organize your supplies so they are together in an easily accessible location that family members know about.
Visit ready.gov for more information on National Preparedness Month.