September is National Preparedness Month — Here are 5 things you should do to protect your family
While we can never predict when or where the next disaster will occur, we can be sure they are coming. Being proactive and preparing ahead of time can save countless hours of trying to react at the last minute. It is the smart thing to do!
So how do you get started and what things should you think about doing before the next disaster strikes? Here are 5 tips to get you started:
1. Do Your Research
Research and prepare for natural disasters common to your area. Depending on where you are, you might experience floods, wildfires, earthquakes or tornadoes.
2. Create an Emergency Kit
Create an emergency kit for your home and car. There are great resources available to assist you, such as the American Red Cross.
3. Gear Up
Create a home emergency plan with your family and learn how to shut off your utilities. Take part in emergency drills at work and school to learn helpful skills and tips from experts.
4. Protect Your Documents
Emergencies can create problems long after the storm has passed.
We recommend storing digital versions of important documents, passwords, and online accounts. This protects them from damage or loss during a disaster scenario.
5. Know CPR
a. Learn first aid and CPR for children and adults. The National Safety Council provides great resources here.
b. Check out the Emergency Medical Response Guide here:
Remember… Dorian is only the first major hurricane to hit the United States and eastern seaboard this year.
The Category 5 storm knocked homes to the ground and flooded streets in the Bahamas killing 45 people.
Those numbers will rise as thousands of people are still missing.
70,000 people are homeless in the Bahamas.
Florida missed the direct hit as the storms’ path changed and headed north.
Dorian caused flooding in parts of the Carolinas’ and spawned many tornadoes. More than 370,000 people lost power in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.
In eastern North Carolina, Dorian produced wind gusts near hurricane-force. The state saw between 4 to 8 inches of rain with some local totals of as much as 10 inches, according to CNN meteorologists.
We all must prepare!
Every year we see disasters from hurricanes and floods to tornadoes and wildfires. None of us are immune from such things, regardless of where we live.
Check out a few recent disasters that left unprepared citizens exposed and scrambling.
Floods: Hurricanes may not impact the midwest, but a few months ago the midwest experienced severe flooding. Some towns were completely underwater.
Fires: Paradise, California burned last November in a wildfire called “Camp Fire”.
“Camp Fire” Destruction:
86 people lost their lives
150,000 acres burned
52,000 people evacuated
18,804 buildings destroyed
Tornadoes: And who can forget the EF5 tornado which hit Joplin, Missouri on May 22, 2011? 38 agonizing minutes with wind speeds more than 200 MPH!
Joplin Tornado Destruction:
158 people lost their lives
25% of Joplin flattened
7000 homes destroyed
850 other homes damaged