What is Emergency Preparedness?

The term refers to steps taken to ensure safety before, during, and after an emergency or natural disaster. These plans are important for your safety in both natural and man-made disasters. Examples of natural disasters are floods, blizzards, tornadoes and earthquakes. Man-made disasters can include explosions, fires, chemical and biological attacks.


First responders cannot always reach disaster survivors quickly, so it is important to be able to take care of injured or disabled family members until help arrives. Citizens can help by learning first aid or volunteering with other local organizations.


Every citizen should have an emergency kit with enough supplies to survive for 10 days, including water, non-perishable food, non-electric can openers, flashlights, batteries, cash, and important family documents. Children should also be allowed to include favorite small toys or games.


Children should be encouraged to participate in any family emergency planning. Teach kids how to communicate during an emergency, including how to dial 9-1-1 or send text messages. Practicing a plan also helps children know what to do during a disaster.


Budget concerns can keep families from buying all the items necessary for an emergency kit. However, it is not essential to make all the purchases at once. Families are encouraged to spread out the purchase of supplies and make use of coupons and discounts. Buying used radios and flashlights also can be more affordable.


An emergency plan should include ensuring those with disabilities or special needs have a proper evacuation plan. Plan transportation needs ahead of time and make sure those with medical needs have backup power for equipment.  


For more information on how to better prepare for disasters and tips on developing a family emergency kit, visit www.ready.gov. Visit this link to learn more about how to be the help until help arrives