September is National Preparedness Month. When I think preparedness several things come to mind. The first is Girl Scouts. I was a scout for many years and the Girl Scout motto Be Prepared is ingrained in my psyche.
The second group to pop into my mind are my Mormon friends. I have quite a few friends that belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am amazed at just how prepared they are for just about anything.
The last thing I think of are the reality TV shows. They seem to be all over the place. To be honest, the only show I have actually watched is on The Weather Channel and takes place in Alaska. But I could not tell you the title of the show.
Preparedness is important because we cannot predict what will happen with the weather. This year’s hurricane season is a good example. Both Harvey and Irma have already created havoc in the United States and as of this writing Hurricane Maria is a Category 5 and aiming straight for the Caribbean.
Growing up I experienced both Tropical Storms and ice storms. Since moving out west, we had one tornado miss us by just a mile. Multiple blizzards have shut travel down for days. Additionally, we have had a few minor earthquakes. But we have never been forced to leave our home.
However, one family member did evacuate due to a fast approaching fire. It is instances like this that make National Preparedness Month important. Are you ready to respond if you receive an order to evacuate? In the past I wasn’t but now I am.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Due to the hurricanes, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been in the news lately. FEMA has great information online about preparedness. Just two of the sites include National Preparedness Month and America’s PrepareAthon. Both sites provide great information. But it was a bit disconcerting that the latter site had a non-natural disaster listed first.
As schoolchildren we learn sayings such as “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” and “Stop, Drop, and Roll.” The first came in handy when one of my offspring experienced the Carolina floods two years ago. Hopefully no one I know ever needs to put out a fire on their person.
Planning is an important part of preparedness. After our one family member needed to evacuate, we started to seriously think about getting prepared. I found the main FEMA website www.ready.gov invaluable. An already created emergency form is on the site. All you have to do is print it out and fill it in. The website can take time to navigate so you can access the form by clicking here.
In addition to making sure our important papers and contact information is recorded, we made Go-bags. Extra backpacks left behind when the kids left home were put to use. FEMA suggests contents of the bag should keep you prepared for 72 hours. Ours do and then some. Now if a knock comes on the door telling us to evacuate we are ready.
The official logo for National Preparedness Month 2017. [High Resolution JPG]