With hurricane season beginning, this is a great time for families to prepare for any type of disaster. As a military family, disaster preparedness often takes a back-seat to the regular cycles of PCS and deployment. Plus, the pre-move clean out often includes items that might be useful in an emergency but don't have much other use.
Fortunately, there are a bjillion websites that include information about disaster preparation. Generally speaking, it is good to know what sort of disasters are likely in your area. Keep in mind, however, that crazy things can happen anywhere and worldwide weather patterns are in a period of upheaval.
There are three parts to disaster preparation:
- making a plan, including emergency communications plans and evacuation plans
- having supplies ready and accessible, and maintaining those supplies
- remaining informed throughout the event
Making A PlanThis part is relatively easy. Talk with your family about what you will do in the event of an emergency. Discuss ways to communicate, and make sure each family member knows what to do if they are separated from the rest of the family. Talk about what you'll do if you need to leave your home.
Building A KitFor most people, this is the hardest part of preparing for a disaster. It is work, and it costs money, and you might never need to use it. It is easy to put it off for another day, but please don't. Get yourself organized now so that you'll be ready to go if something does happen.
If you are overwhelmed by the prospect of building a full kit, start small. Pick one or two things on the list, and gather or purchase them. If you do it a bit at a time, it won't be so daunting or expensive.
Once you've got your kit built, be sure to keep it updated with fresh food and the right clothes for the season, plus any changes in sizes. Consider doing this when the time changes each spring and fall, or whatever other schedule will help you remember.
During The EventIf an emergency does occur, keep up-to-date with information throughout the event. Your charged cell phone or emergency radio will help with this.
ResourcesSites that include great tips include:
Federal Emergency Management Agency's Ready.gov
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Natural Disasters and Severe Weather page
I admit that I am awful at keeping our family prepared for disasters. Hopefully, this post will shame me into taking some action today. I hope you will join me!