Be Prepared, Not Scared. That’s the 2019 theme for September’s National Preparedness Month. From weather emergencies and explosions to active shooters and terrorists, to pandemics and power outages, Ready.gov aims to help you prepare yourself – and your loved ones – to prevent emergencies and accidents. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being the victim of a crime, tragedy, or emergency, having an emergency preparedness plan in place can help lessen the impact . . . and potentially save lives.
It doesn’t matter how safe your community is, accidents and emergencies can happen anywhere, anytime. So, to prepare yourself and your family for anything, focus on one of the following topics each week and the corresponding emergency preparedness tips and links. By the end of the month, you’ll be ready for anything people, circumstances, or Mother Nature throws your way!
Week 1: Save early for disaster costs.
Depending upon where you live, disasters like floods and earthquakes could be a very real concern for you. Even if you’re not located in a zone that typically sees these extreme events, no one is immune. For example, residents in New Jersey never would have predicted that Hurricane Sandy would wreak the havoc it did on their homes.
As you consider your disaster preparedness plan, review your insurance policies. Do you have flood insurance? Earthquake insurance? And what about insurance for explosions or damaging hail or lightning? Know what you plan will and won’t cover.
If your family disaster plan involves picking up additional coverage that your current plan does not offer, create a system to save and cover this added expense. Maybe you’ll want to reserve a portion of your paycheck each month – or perhaps you’ll set up a payment plan over the course of the year.
In addition to saving for insurance, simply put money aside for a disaster. Ready.gov indicates that 40% of Americans don’t even have $400 in savings. Should a disaster strike, this could translate into financial ruin. Start a savings plan now, no matter how small. Eventually, the lump sum will accumulate, providing you with a safety net, should you need it.
Week 2: Make an emergency preparedness plan for disasters.
Creating an emergency preparedness plan helps you and your loved ones agree upon a set of procedures you’ll follow in the event of unforeseen circumstances. For instance, determine where you’ll shelter-in-place in the event of a tornado, hurricane, etc. And decide where you will meet outside the house if you must evacuate.
Because it’s difficult to think clearly during a crisis, be sure to write down your plan and give copies to all family members. Keep the plan in a visible, easy-to-access location in your house. FEMA has created a simple, fillable Family Communications Plan that will help get you started: https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/133447
Week 3: Teach youth to prepare for disasters.
No matter the age of your children, it’s never too early – or too late! – to teach kids to prepare for disasters. Involve them in the creation of the Family Communications Plan. Practice drills with them so they know what to do in the event of a fire, hurricane, etc.
Another effective way to keep your children as safe as possible is to provide them with a kids safety device and accompanying the emergency app. Silent Beacon addresses both of these needs with its lightweight, Bluetooth-enabled device that pairs easily with the app. Simply load up to seven contacts for your child, and you’re set! Please note that these contacts can include friends, family, and even emergency personnel.
Then, in the event of an emergency, all your child needs to do is press the button on the device. This sends out alerts to the entire contact list, via texts, phone calls, and/or email messages. And because of the GPS technology, first responders will be able to locate your child quickly and easily. This saves precious minutes – when every second count.
Week 4: Get involved in your community’s preparedness.
By getting involved, you can help those beyond just your household. Instead, you can impact those in your neighborhood and surrounding areas! If any community members or emergency management agencies are creating a community preparedness plan, join them, If these groups don’t exist, create your own team!
Another terrific way to get involved is to join your local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Ready.gov defines this team’s purpose as follows: “educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area . . . trains them in basic disaster medical operations . . .[offering] a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations.”
Finally, be sure to educate your community on the effectiveness of the easy-to-use Silent Beacon personal safety device. Not just for children, the Silent Beacon can allow anyone, in any age group, to press the button and summon help in an emergency situation. It’s like having a personal emergency response system and an emergency app at your fingertips!
Plus, the price tag is affordable at the one-time fee of $99. There are no mandatory activation, cancellation, or recurring charges, either. Simply pair the device and app, and you (and your loved ones) are ready.
It’s never the wrong time to plan ahead – so take this month to seize each day . . . and plan for emergencies! You’ll be glad that you did.
Ready to learn more? Visit Ready.gov at https://www.ready.gov/september.
Or, want to purchase the Silent Beacon? Visit www.SilentBeacon.com.