September has been designated National Preparedness Month and this year’s theme is “You Can Be the Hero.” Preparedness is an individual responsibility. The better prepared you are, the more likely you are to save a life. Be a preparedness hero in your community! Disasters can strike at any time and individuals and families need to be prepared with a plan, a kit and provisions to care for themselves for at least a minimum of three days, and maybe even longer on the Olympic Peninsula.
In the event of a large scale disaster, emergency workers will not be immediately available to respond to your 9-1-1 call for help. Food, utilities, medicines and other vital needs may not be restored to normal levels for days or even weeks. Experts at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have created a website dedicated to preparing for a disaster. www.ready.gov provides information and tips for families and older adults, as well as pet and business owners to prepare for a disaster.
Preparing can start with four important steps:
• Be informed about emergencies that could happen in your community and identify sources of information in your community that will be helpful before, during and after an emergency.
• Make a plan for what to do in an emergency.
• Build an emergency supply kit.
• Get involved.
While preparedness is an individual responsibility, it takes a whole community to be prepared to handle emergency situations. This year’s National Preparedness Month focuses on turning awareness into action by encouraging all individuals and all communities nationwide to make an emergency preparedness plan.
For more information on how to prepare for a disaster, visit www.ready.gov or call your local fire department at 683-4242.