Friday, December 30, 2011

Resolve to be Ready in 2012

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has declared over 100 federal disasters in 2011 alone. This year we have seen the impact of tropical storms Maria and Lee, Hurricane Irene, wildfires in Texas, flooding, tornadoes, and even an earthquake that hit the nation’s capital. Even the media has put the threat of pandemics in the headlines with Warner Bros. Picture’s Contagion.

FEMA has outlined ways to keep your family, home, and workplace prepared for any type of disaster. Emergency preparedness is a new year’s resolution that will be easy to maintain with three easy steps:

             Make a family emergency plan
The holidays are the perfect time to discuss a family emergency plan. Having an outline of what to do during a chaotic time such as an emergency is the best tool you can be equipped with. You may want to include emergency contact information and places to go during a time of emergency. Don’t know where to start? Visit the Ad council to create your own family plan.  

Emergency supply kits are useful for both the home and the workplace. Making sure all the necessary items are in place PRIOR to a time of disaster puts you in the best position to combat the emergency. APHA’s Get Ready campaign offers a stockpile checklist in English (PDF) and Spanish (PDF).

Location is a factor that determines the risk for disaster and emergency. It is important to know what disasters and emergencies threaten your area and community specifically. Not only is the environment a threat, but disease and sickness are too. Keeping up with vaccines is another preparedness strategy for the unknown. You can also call the closest chapter of the American Red Cross for emergency information that applies to your community. Knowledge is power: know what you’re up against and prepare yourself and your family for the best chance of survival during an emergency.

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