Emergency Preparedness – Are you ready?Posted on: September 5, 2012Categories: LiveWell 24/7
September 2012 marks the ninth annual National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the US Department of Homeland Security. One goal of Homeland Security is to educate the public about how to prepare for emergencies, including natural disasters, mass casualties, biological and chemical threats, radiation emergencies, and terrorist attacks.
During September, emergency preparedness will focus on:
- Home and family preparedness, including pets, older Americans, and individuals with disabilities and special needs (Ready America)
- Back-to-school (Ready Kids)
- Business preparedness (Ready Business)
- Preparación en Español (Listo America)
In collaboration with the American Red Cross, CDC’s Web site, Emergency Preparedness and You identifies and answers common questions about preparing for unexpected events, including:
- Developing a family disaster plan
- Gathering emergency supplies
- Learning how to shelter in place
- Understanding quarantine and isolation
- Learning how to maintain a healthy state of mind
The Emergency Preparedness and Response offers additional information and resources under topics such as hurricane preparedness, extreme heat, and bioterrorism. CDC continually updates information on recent outbreaks and incidents, and lists emergency resources for the general public as well as for clinicians and public health professionals.
Get an Emergency Kit
If disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water, or electricity for some time. By taking time now to prepare emergency water supplies, food supplies and a disaster supplies kit, you can provide for your entire family.
Make an Emergency Plan
Make plans with your family and friends in case you’re not together during an emergency. Discuss how you’ll contact each other, where you’ll meet, and what you’ll do in different situations. Read how to develop afamily disaster plan or fill out the Homeland Security Family Emergency Plan.
Ask about planning at your workplace and your child’s school or daycare center. The US Department of Education gives guidelines for school preparedness. Workers at small, medium, and large businesses should practice for emergencies of all kinds. See Ready Business for more information.
Being prepared means staying informed. Check all types of media – Web sites, newspapers, radio, TV, mobile and land phones – for global, national and local information. During an emergency, your local Emergency Management or Emergency Services office will give you information on such things as open shelters and evacuation orders. Check Ready America community and state information to learn about resources in your community.
Look into taking first aid and emergency response training, participating in community exercises, and volunteering to support local first responders. Contact Citizens Corps, which coordinates activities to make communities safer, stronger and better prepared to respond to an emergency situation. Contact the Medical Reserve Corps, (MRC). MRC are community-based units and function as a way to locally organize and utilize volunteers who want to donate their time and expertise to prepare for and respond to emergencies and promote healthy living throughout the year.
Homeland Security promotes emergency preparedness all year round via the Ready America campaign. Checklists, brochures, and videos are available in English and in Spanish online and by phone (1-800-BE-READY and 1-888-SE-LISTO).
-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention