Life is full of the unexpected. Some of the unexpected can be wonderous, uplifting surprises, while other times, they are strenuous and devastating. September is widely recognized as National Preparedness Month or NPM. This year’s theme is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disaster is protecting everyone you love.” With pandemics, hurricanes, wildfires, and more, we are in constant need of being equipped to face the world’s unknowns. While we don’t always have control of our situations, there are many ways to prepare ourselves and lessen the unexpected threat to our lives.
This month is a reminder to be prepared for anything. As September comes to a close, this years Four themes for National Preparedness Month are vital to ensuring you, your families, and your coworkers are ready for unexpected events.
- Make a Plan. Putting together a plan is more than just having ideas of what to do after a disaster already strikes. It’s best to think through your potential steps before, during, and after the event. Consider a meet-up location, one at home and one nearby. Think of how you will communicate with one another when you are on the move. Decide on Plan Bs and Plan Cs in case your original plans do not work out.
- Build your go-bag. You don’t want to bring supplies that unnecessarily take up space or are one-time use. Find items that can last you for several days if you might be stuck in one location. Don’t forget to update your bag and check for expired or out-of-date items. Also, consider what kind of special items each member of your household might need, such as medications or allergy-friendly foods. Some disasters might demand that you evacuate from your home quickly, so make sure your go-bag is easy to find and grab.
- Prepare for disaster at a low cost. You don’t have to spend loads of money on high-end survival gear. Many ways to prepare yourself for disaster are free! You can sign up for alerts on your phone or download free apps that keep you updated on weather tracking. Check around your house for precarious furniture or potential hazards in the event of a natural disaster. Also, don’t forget to safely keep any essential documents such as wills and birth certificates. These are some easy ways to put you one step further ahead of disasters.
- Teach your youth about preparedness. Whether you are a teacher in a physical classroom or a teacher at home, it is important to educate children on how they can prepare. Should the time ever arrive, they will need to know how to protect themselves under pressure. It doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming. Teach your children things such as knowing where to meet if you get separated, protecting themselves in earthquakes, hurricanes, or pandemics, or memorizing significant phone numbers to call when they are in trouble.
September is not the only time to focus on preparedness. These last couple of years have been a testament to how disaster can strike at any time. Follow these simple actions and be mindful throughout the year to keep you and your family safe from life’s unexpected.
From all of us at Highlight, Stay Safe!
For more information, visit FEMA’s website.
Written by: Jes Mabanglo, Marketing Specialist