Roughly half of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions and commit to improving their lifestyles or reaching a long-term goal. This year, why not make a resolution that is easy to keep – and can save lives and protect property. For 2012, Resolve to be Ready for emergencies by taking simple steps to prepare your family, your home, your business, and your community in the face of potential disaster.
As emergency managers we can serve as a great influence upon our family and friends and encourage them to take steps to become prepared in the face of emergencies and disasters. Now is the time to plan what you, your family, and your pets will need in advance of an emergency; how you will communicate; and what supplies you will need to keep in your home, car, or office. The more they know about what to do in an emergency, the more confident they will feel in their abilities to manage through a disaster.
You can start by taking these simple steps:
* Be informed. Know the hazards and risks in your area and learn what you need to do to get ready for them.
* Make a family emergency plan. Know how you would communicate with and find your loved ones if a disaster strikes. For example, think about how you would reach your kids at school or your spouse at work. If you had to evacuate, where would you go. Thinking this through in advance will make a big difference.
* Build an emergency supply kit. Have one both at home and in the car that includes water, food, and first aid supplies to help you survive if you lose power or get stranded in your car. This is especially important for dealing with icy roads and snowstorms this winter.
* Get Involved. Be an advocate and educator for safety and emergency preparedness within your community. Contact your local Citizen Corps.
Also the use of modern-day technology can help individuals and families prepare, adapt, and recover from disruptions brought on by emergencies or disasters.
Learn how to send updates via text and internet from your mobile phone to your contacts and social channels in case voice communications are not available. Store your important documents such as personal and financial records in a secure “Cloud” or on a flash or jump drive that you can keep readily available so it is accessible.
Create an Emergency Information Document at Ready.gov by using the Family Emergency Plan template in Google Docs or by downloading the Ready Family Emergency Plan to record your emergency plans.
FEMA is only part of our nation’s emergency management team – along with our other federal partners, state and local governments, non-profit and voluntary organizations, the private sector and most importantly the public.
So this year, as you thinking about this New Year’s resolutions, why not Resolve to be Ready. Learn how at Ready.gov/Resolve.