National Emergency Preparedness Month

By on September 6, 2012

September is National Emergency Preparedness Month. Do you have an emergency preparedness plan/kit? If not, National Emergency Preparedness Month is the perfect time to pick at least one thing that you can do to ensure you and your family are better prepared when disaster strikes.

In the West, we’ve had a summer full of a number of large wildfires that threatened many communities and even consumed a number homes. Some of those burned areas eventually turned into mudslide areas. Records were rewritten with tornadoes blowing through many Midwestern and Southern states and cities. And just before winter takes it’s grasp on things, it’s now hurricane season and New Orleans already has one in the books that flooded parts of that area.

Wherever you live, there is the potential of a disaster striking. Many people who are affected by these have a common thought, they never thought it would happen to them.

Don’t be caught unprepared. When putting a kit together and considering what to include, keep the ‘what ifs’ in mind. Try to consider the many different situations you could find yourself in if… and the many different needs you may have if…

The following are a few tips from about how to prepare for a hurricane:

Before a Hurricane

To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures:

To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
Know your surroundings.
Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
Make plans to secure your property:
Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
Determine how and where to secure your boat.
Install a generator for emergencies.
If in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor.
Consider building a safe room. has tons of great information to get you started or to use to make sure you’ve got what you may need in a variety of situations. Here are some links to their page with lots of information specific to many natural disasters. Click a link below to learn more about ways to prepare.

Drought Space Weather
Earthquakes Thunderstorm and Lightning
Extreme Heat Tornadoes
Floods Winter Storms & Extreme Cold

You can explore ways to prepare for many other types of disasters here:

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