Tuesday, October 02, 2012

My Get Ready Story: Being prepared, no matter where you live

As a part of National Preparedness Month, APHA’s Get Ready campaign asked people to share their preparedness stories with us. Cyndi H., of Anaheim, Calif., shared her story about moving to a new state and how it’s helped her be more prepared.

“I’m originally from Florida, so my idea of disaster preparedness was waiting until hurricane season approached and then checking my supplies and restocking. When I moved to California a year ago, I knew my threats were different, as I now faced earthquakes and wildfires. But I wasn’t concerned and delayed my preparations, assuming I’d make a plan and gather my supplies at some point.

Then one day while at work, the earth shook. It didn’t last long and it wasn’t strong, but the message was clear: I wasn’t ready. Did I have any supplies at work or home? What kind of supplies did I need? How would I get home if the roads weren’t clear? Did I have a plan to meet up with my husband?

A good kit, like this one from the Red Cross, makes all the difference!
Now, my husband and I both travel with earthquake backpacks and have stocks of supplies at home. We carry emergency food, water, lighting, radios, first aid, batteries, copies of identification and basic tools. We conducted a home evaluation to familiarize ourselves with shut-offs for gas, water and electricity, placed emergency lighting throughout and checked our smoke detectors. We’ve also made a plan to maintain communication and meet up with each other in the case we are separated when an emergency occurs.  

A few weeks ago the ground shook again. But this time I wasn’t as startled or as worried. It only took a few hours one day to get ourselves prepared. The peace of mind I’ve gained was worth the effort.” 

Have you ever moved and realized that you needed to change your emergency plans because of new threats? Let us know in the comments!

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