Are you prepared? September is National Preparedness Month
September is National Preparedness Month. What does this mean? National Preparedness Month is a U.S. Governmental effort that encourages Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities. Emergencies can be anything from a flood or other natural disaster, loss of power, loss of access to your financial and online storage systems, an automobile accident, loss of your computer system or your mobile device to a terrorist attack.
There are lots of ways to get prepared. For residences, it can include creating a family plan, a place to meet up or communicate in case of an emergency, creating an emergency supply kit for your home or vehicle (filled with non-perishable foods, medications), access to contacts for your banks or credit cards. For businesses, it can be creating a back-up system in case an emergency wipes out your primary system, a plan to communicate with clients/vendors, a back-up of your client records and financial systems, a plan in case an emergency stops the flow of income.
Why is this important to me? My goal is to help others simplify their lives and to reduce stress so they can have greater enjoyment. By being prepared, you can sometimes prevent emergencies or be better equipped to handle them when they occur.
Below are access to lists prepared by various governmental agencies designed to help make sure you are prepared. What one thing are you going to do today to get prepared?
Ready.gov was created by the US Department of Homeland Security. A readiness campaign started in 2004, Ready.gov now run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides lots of information to help citizens be prepared for anything from natural disasters, terrorist hazards, medical emergencies, home fires, blackouts to creating an exit at the workplace or school, and helping out employees in an emergency situation. Check out some of our favorites below.
Emergency Supply List
Caring for Animals
Emergency Food List
Supplies for Unique Needs – babies, seniors, cold climates
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). They have a page on their website dedicated toward preparing for all hazards. Resources include recommendations for families, schools, childcare centers and emergency and health professionals. They also provide resources for coping with a disaster or traumatic event.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is also a an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The FDA is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety, prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceutical drugs (medications), vaccines, biopharmaceuticals, blood transfusions, medical devices, and veterinary products. They provide a list that helps you determine if drugs are safe after a natural disaster. They also provide information on what to do if you encounter Anthrax. The obvious first response would be to contact your physician, a clinic or your local emergency room.
Lots of local jurisdictions have their own resources for local businesses and citizens. My county and town has the option to sign up for emergency text or email alerts. The State of Maryland also has its own resources for business and residents in case of emergencies.
While it may not fall under the National Preparedness Month fold, I think getting rid of excess in your home helps you prepare or prevent emergencies. The local Montgomery County Division of Solid Waste Services is hosting a secure paper shredding events (they are recycling other things at these events as well). Shredding papers is a great way to prevent an identity theft emergency. The first event is this weekend. Mark your calendars.
What are you doing to get you, your family, your business prepared for an emergency? What steps have you taken or plan to take? We’d love to hear in the comments.