National Preparedness Month
In last week’s blog post we talked about how September is National Preparedness Month. This month is sponsored by FEMA and Ready.gov to spread the word about how important it is to be prepared in the event of an emergency.
Throughout the month 4 different topics are touched upon; save early for disaster costs, make a plan to prepare for disasters, teach youth to prepare for disasters, and get involved in your community’s preparedness. For a more detailed look at these topics you can check out our blog post from last week.
This week, we will be focusing on creating an emergency evacuation plan. This will allow you to prepare you and your family for a disaster.
Creating a Plan
When creating an emergency evacuation plan it is important that you think about what kind of disaster can affect you. For a detailed list of disasters and information about how to prepare for each one, check out Ready.gov. Once you know what kind of disaster you are preparing for, Ready.gov has a 3 easy steps for you:
Step 1 –
With your family/household, sit down and discuss the following questions:
- How will you receive emergency alerts and warnings?
- The FEMA app allows you to sign up for alerts for up to 5 locations.
- What is your shelter plan?
- It is important to have a place where you can seek refuge outside of the disaster area.
- Where you seek shelter will depend on what kind of disaster you are encountering.
- Sometimes it is best to stay where you are in the event of a disaster, it is important to know when to stay and when to leave.
- If your shelter plan involves sheltering in place, make sure you have a steady supply of food, water, and other emergency supplies.
- If your shelter plan involves you having to evacuate, identify several places that you can go to (friends home, hotel, etc.).
- What is your evacuation route?
- Know how to get out of your house safely.
- Have a plan to get to your shelter safely.
- Know how to get your family together if a disaster happens while at work and/or school.
- What is your family/household communication plan?
- Make sure your kids have important phone numbers memorized. Cell phones may not work in the event of a disaster.
- Have a meet up point that everyone knows how to get to in the event that you get separated.
Step 2 –
Make sure that your family’s emergency evacuation plan fits your needs. Ready.gov says that the following factors need to be kept in mind when creating your plan:
- Ages of the members in your household.
- Each person’s responsibilities for assisting others.
- Locations each person frequents.
- Dietary needs.
- Medical needs.
- Disabilities or access functional needs including devices and equipment.
- Languages spoken.
- Cultural and religious considerations.
- Pets or service animals.
- Households with school-aged children.
Step 3 –
Go to FEMA’s website and fill out your Family Emergency Communication Plan.
Practicing a Plan
Once your plan has been created it is important to practice it frequently, so everyone involved knows what to do in the event of a disaster. Practice allows for you to work out the kinks and see if any of your steps need to be modified before a disaster occurs.
Since California’s wildfire season is approaching, if you would like more information about creating a fire evacuation plan, check out this blog post.
Stay safe and be prepared!
-The IFS Team