Tuesday, February 14, 2012

This Valentine’s Day, love your family enough to have a plan

What’s the greatest gift you can give your family this Valentine’s Day?

We’ll give you a hint: It’s not covered in chocolate.

The best gift you can give to your loved ones is to be ready for an emergency. As the Federal Emergency Management Agency explains in its Ready.gov video, below, “Before a disaster turns your family’s world upside-down, it’s up to you to be ready.”

Here are some basic steps that you need to take to get ready for a disaster:

  • Think about the types of emergencies that could happen where you live. Do you live in an area prone to flooding? Are you often in the path of tornadoes or hurricanes? The Get Ready campaign has fact sheets available for many types of disasters to help guide your plans.
  • Have an emergency kit ready. Make sure you have adequate supplies of drinking water, food, essential medicines and emergency medical supplies, as well as tools such as flashlights, a radio and plenty of batteries. Take a look at our full checklist
  • Make a plan. If a disaster knocked out cellphone service, how would you communicate with your family? Where would you meet up with your loved ones in an emergency? What are the evacuation routes in your town? FEMA’s Ready.gov website has tools to help you put your emergency plan in writing.

To help you talk to your loved ones about getting ready for an emergency, we've made some free Valentine's Day e-cards. They're a fun way to share our message: "I love you enough to have a plan." Check out all of our cards on the Get Ready website!

Being prepared for emergencies doesn’t take a lot of time or money, but it does require that you sit down with the people you care about, make a plan and gather some supplies. A few hours of preparation now could save the lives of those you love in the future.

We think that’s a way better gift than a box of chocolates.

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