September is officially National Preparedness Month, and it is no coincidence that this national awareness day happens to take place during peak hurricane season. As I am writing this, tropical storm Gordon is quickly approaching the Gulf Coast. Even if you don’t live near the coast, it’s Essential that you and your family are prepared for emergencies. Here are several things you can do today to become a little more prepared.
Have a Plan
The first step to being prepared is to have a plan. If a disaster strikes, where will you go? What will you do? How will others in your family know how to reach you or where you will be? All of these questions are Essential to building a successful plan.
The four main questions to answer when building a plan according to ready.gov are:
-How will you continue to get emergency updates and alerts
-What is my plan for shelter
-What is my evacuation plan
-How will I communicate with others in my family
Once you have developed your plan, you can move on to gather those supplies that will help you through the disaster you may be facing.
Many things can help you survive an emergency situation but none is more important than clean drinking water. The human body can survive around three weeks without food but only three to four days without water. This makes water the most Essential item on our list outside of any medications you may normally take on a daily basis. It is recommended to have at least three-days-worth of clean water per person. For an active person, that comes out to about a third of a gallon per day. We prefer to keep 72 hours’ worth of water on hand since we live near the coast where hurricanes are so prevalent.
Other items that are important are food, batteries, and necessary medical supplies in case of minor injuries. It is also important to plan around dietary restrictions, food and water for your pets, and different needs that each aged person might have. If you have little to no survival supplies we have put a list together for you here.
Test Your Plan
When emergencies happen, people have been known to become frozen in fear or panic which makes a situation worse. This is why the police, fire department, schools, and military all run emergency drills. The drills are designed to make responding to the high-stress situation second nature. You don’t need to think about where to go or what to do when the fire alarm goes off because you already know the quickest route away from danger. The same practice applies to emergency preparedness. Practicing your plan with your family will help ensure each member knows exactly what to do and where to go if something unexpected were to happen.
While it is unlikely that most of us will experience an extreme natural disaster, we understand it is still a possibility. This is why we focus on what we can actually control, our preparedness.