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September is National Preparedness Month!

Friday, September 7, 2018

By: Heather Knapp

Do you have a plan in place when disaster strikes? Does your family know the plan, and do you have all the supplies you need to be prepared? Has it been a while since you went over your emergency plan and does it need to be updated? September is National Preparedness month, and September 15th is National Day of Action. Now is the perfect time to make a plan and talk to your family so you will know what to do!

 Questions to ask yourself and your household are:

1.      How will I receive my emergency alerts and warnings?

2.      What is my shelter plan?

3.      What is my evacuation route?

4.      What is my family/household communication plan?

Let’s talk about what you can do to answer thee questions!

 Consider what you need. Every household is different, so you need to think about your specific needs, so you can have appropriate supplies.

 ·         How old is everyone in my home?

·         Does anyone in my home have certain dietary needs, medications, or medical equipment?

·         Will anyone in my home have difficulty communicating in an emergency due to a language barrier?

·         Do I have any special religious or cultural considerations?

·         Are there any pets or service animals in my home?

 Find neighbors, friends, and/or relatives to help with supplies, communication, child care, pets, etc…, especially for any out of ordinary needs your family may have such as medical equipment, prescriptions, diet, or animals. You might educate a neighbor on these things and/or have directions written down in a safe place, perhaps stored with your emergency supplies. It is important to have this community of helpers. Make sure you know how you can help with their needs during an emergency as well.

 What kinds of emergencies you should prepare for? Emergencies can include any serious unexpected, and often dangerous situation. Emergencies can mean different things to different people. For instance, one family may be prepared for an emergency while another family isn’t, such as having supplies available for a child with a severe allergy. Emergency situations to consider include:

 ·         Chemical accidents, poisoning

·         Fire

·         Illness outbreak

·         Power outages

·         Severe storms, tornado, flooding, winter storms

·         Intruder in the home, terrorism

·         Severe allergic reactions

·         Accidents, injuries, pool/water safety

 When you are ready to make your plan, fill out this Family Communication Plan Card from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help you cover the basics: https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/133447

 It is important to clearly mark emergency supplies, and keep them somewhere accessible to anyone who may need them. List important phone numbers clearly, make sure everyone knows a common meeting place or shelter area, discuss at least two routes to evacuate every room, if possible, and discuss responsibilities with each household member if possible. Finish preparing for an emergency by practicing a situation with everyone in the household.

 You will want to review and update your emergency plan regularly. Once or twice a year if there are no major changes in the home. Anytime there are any changes in the household such as a new baby, major remodeling, a child moves out, or you move to a different home, you will want to review and update your plan. Check out ready.gov to find more information on preparing for emergencies https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan.


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Elkhorn Logan Valley
Public Health Department
2104 21st Circle / PO Box 779, Wisner, NE 68791
Phone: 402.529.2233  - or -  877.379.4400
Fax: 402.529.2211
After Hours: 402.841.8110
Email: info@elvphd.org