September is National Preparedness Month (NPM) which promotes family and community disaster planning now as well as throughout the year. With the Covid-19 Pandemic still a large concern across the nation, planning ahead is vital.
This year, the NPM theme is “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.” And the goal for the first week is Making a Plan.
Disasters can strike at anytime, with no warning. You and your loved ones may be separated at the time of a disaster. It’s important to know what kind of disasters could happen in your area. It’s unlikely the Midwest will ever experience a tsunami; however, fires, floods, tornadoes, etc are entirely possible. Each of these situations may require a different plan of action if your family is separated at any point during a disaster.
To start the month and the week, take today to consider establishing a family meeting place that is familiar and easy to find, especially for the younger ones. This is the place everyone should meet, as soon as they are able, in the case of an emergency. Next, discuss with your family how you will receive emergency alerts and warning, what shelter plans you have, evacuation routes, communication plans, and whether or not each family member (including children and pets) have an emergency preparedness kit that is updated with basic needs like water, snacks, diapers, formula, and so on. Check with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for any updates on public health concerns, such as Covid-19, and consider keeping two (2) facemasks per person over the age of two (2) in the emergency preparedness packs.
For more ideas on what to consider for emergency plans, check out https://www.ready.gov/plan.