September is recognized as National Preparedness Month. Sponsored by FEMA since 2004, the campaign encourages Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities.
Preparing and creating a plan for an emergency can be overwhelming, but it is important. Instead of trying to do it all in one day, use this weekly guide to get your emergency plan done and be a part of America’s National Preparedness Month.
Organize your plan with the CRS Emergency Plan you can download here
Week 1: Know your threats
Here’s the short list of what to prepare for, click on the following to learn more about each of the disaster.
Week 2: Make a communication plan for friends and family
Your plan needs to include more than sending a text or making a call. Here are some more ways you can stay in communication with loved ones during a catastrophe:
- Download apps for group texting, family and friend locater and weather alerts
- Use social media to check in and stay informed
- Make sure everyone knows how to text and post to social media
- Ask your childs school for a copy of their emergency plan
- Have a plan in case your phone dies: designate a meet up spot, keep important numbers written down in your wallet, purchase a portable charger
Week 3: Evacuation, home and individual preparedness
Things move fast in an emergency and you might not have time to gather important documents, medications and supplies.
Use this list as a reminder of what you need and need to do before an emergency happens.
- Have a meet up place for friends and family after a disaster
- Be aware of specific needs you may have if an emergency strikes like: medication, power needs, eye classes, devices that you may count on, pet needs, etc.
- Follow evacuation orders as soon as they are given; do not wait
- Learn your communities’ evacuation plan and make sure loved ones know it too
- Have important documents backed up on a portable drive or placed in a safe
- Keep an updated list of your home contents and a copy of your homeowners policy and adjusters phone number on hand
- Keep your survival kit in an easily accessible place
Week 4: Build a survival kit
There are many ideas for items to add to an emergency kit, here’s a good start:
- Water and non perishable food (to cover you for at least 72 hours)
- Battery operated or hand crank radio
- First aid kit
- Flashlight with extra batteries or hand crank flashlight
- Blankets (enough for each person)
- Pet food & water
- Solar power bank for cell phone charging
- Can opener
- Dust masks
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in waterproof container
- Extra clothes for each person
- Local maps