Is your family safe? One of the most important parts of protecting your family is preparing them for potential emergencies. As the busiest month of storm season, September is also National Preparedness Month…a time to get informed about potential dangers like natural disasters and learn how to get yourself, your home, and your family ready. Here are 5 areas of focus every family should talk about this month to make sure you’re prepared.
- The Risks: Florida is typically ranked among the Top 10 states most susceptible to natural disasters. With 65 major disaster declarations since 1953, Florida residents have hurricanes, tropical storms, wildfires, tornadoes, and even severe freezes to consider. Make sure your family talks about these risks and has a plan for each.
- Communication: While families may talk about what they would do in case of an emergency…they sometimes leave out the who, what, and where portions of emergency communication. Be sure that your family has an emergency plan that includes who everyone should talk to in the case of a disaster like emergency services numbers and numbers of out of area family or friends to touch base with. Also be sure that your family has a meeting place both near your home and out of the area in the event that you’re split up. And make sure all kids have critical contact and medical information with them.
- Supplies: Every family should have a Disaster Supply Kit that includes basic items for survival like food, medicine, water, etc. Store your disaster supply kit in a safe location that will be easy to access quickly in the event of a disaster and check it at least once a year (like in September during National Preparedness Month) to make sure it is fully stocked and in good shape. Click to learn how to create your own Disaster Supply Kit.
- Escapes: While leaving your house may seem simple, does your family know how you would escape if one of the exits was blocked? Escape routes during emergencies are especially important to discuss with children who can be easily disoriented. Practice a few different scenarios (front door blocked, stairs blocked, etc.) and be sure to have a specific meeting place both immediately outside your home and a safe distance away like at a family member or close family friend’s house in the event that your yard is inaccessible.
- Be Lifesavers: You don’t need to be a lifeguard or an EMT to have the skills to save lives. The American Red Cross offers myriad first aid and CPR classes for non-professionals (even children). It can take emergency responders hours or even days to reach citizens who are cut off during a disaster. Spending a Saturday afternoon learning how to save a life is time extremely well spent.
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You can also visit:
NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Be Ready