National Preparedness Month – Preparing for an Emergency

Emergency Preparedness

Each September, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sponsors National Preparedness Month. This event reminds the public that disasters, both natural and man-made, can happen at any time both with and without warning. Heavy rain or flooding can not only cause water damage to your home, but can create a very dangerous situation for you and your family. In order to stay as safe as possible, FEMA suggests that every family have an emergency plan of action before disaster strikes.

The Importance of Being Prepared for an Emergency

emergency preparedness - satellite view of hurricaneSince the turn of the century, the United States has seen quite a few major disasters. Hurricanes, flash floods, tornadoes, wildfires, earthquakes, and terror attacks have threatened and taken many lives. Almost 218 million people are impacted by these disasters each year, with another 99,000 losing their lives because of them.

In some recent natural disasters, people have had little to no warning. But even with warning, not being prepared can be almost as disastrous as not having any sort of alert. In fact, in the event of a disaster, only half of American adults are properly prepared.

Be Prepared for Anything

In a disaster situation, you could be without power, phone service, transportation or medical help for several days. Local grocery and convenience stores may close due to damage or have limited stock if deliveries are unable to make it through impassable roads. Your town’s water supply could also be contaminated, which would leave you without access to safe drinking or bathing water.

When it comes to emergencies, anything can happen. Emergency preparedness prior to a disaster can lessen your reliance on first responders who may be unable to immediately reach you and your family. It also frees up emergency workers to help people who are in desperate need, whether it be because they are trapped or seriously injured. But most importantly, emergency preparedness could save the lives of you and your family.

Don't Wait!

The time to prepare for an emergency is before one happens! Download our free guide to help you and your family plan and prepare for emergencies and natural disasters.

How Should You Prepare?

emergency preparation - truck driving through flood watersPart of being prepared is understanding which types of disasters are most likely to occur in your area. For example, in North Texas:

For proper emergency preparation for any disaster, you should plan to be without power and stuck in your home for at least three days. During those three days, you and your family will need:

In a best-case scenario, your emergency preparedness kit will never need to be used. But it’s best to have everything you need if disaster strikes and you don’t have much time. 

Building an Emergency Preparedness Kit

Having an emergency preparedness kit for your family is important to keep them safe and as comfortable as possible during and after a disaster. It’s a good idea to have one kit for your home and one kit that can be easily transported in the event you must evacuate your home for several days. When packing your emergency kit, consider the needs of everyone in your family. Always take ages and dietary/medical needs into consideration when selecting items to take with you. And of course, don’t forget the needs of your furry friends. 

emergency preparedness - emergency preparedness kitWhat You Need

All items should be stored in a waterproof container such as a plastic tote or waterproof duffle bag. Be sure to check your emergency-supply kit every six months to replace expired items.

Go Portable

It’s a good idea to have a portable emergency preparedness kit for your car or in the event that you need to grab it quickly and head out on foot. This kit should include cash, medications, water, blankets, a change of clothing and high-energy snacks like dried fruit, nuts, and granola.

What If You Have to Evacuate?

storm preparedness - tornado in fieldFor many disasters, unless there is an imminent threat to life and safety, your best bet is to shelter in place in your home if possible. If your home is in harm’s way, is severely damaged or you’re advised to evacuate the area by your local authorities, don’t forget to take your emergency supplies with you and get your family to a safe location.

Make a Plan

For most families, having to evacuate their homes may not be an easy task. You should have a plan in place before an emergency strikes so that your family understands what to do, especially if all are not home at the time of the evacuation:

Secure Your Property

Before leaving your home, make sure you’ve done everything you can to secure your property. Put away lawn furniture or other outdoor items that can become dangerous flying objects in a storm. Unplug appliances and electronic items to protect them and your home from damage. Leave a note on your refrigerator or kitchen table that says you have evacuated your home. Be sure to note where you have evacuated to and how you can be contacted.

Learn More: 5 Ways to Help a Friend After a Natural Disaster

Proceed With Caution

storm line - storm line with heavy rain and dark cloudsOnce you receive the okay to return home, proceed with caution. You may encounter road damage, flooding, downed trees, or power lines. When you get home, immediately assess your house for damage, including your roof. 

If water damage has occurred, you must act fast to prevent secondary damage from occurring. If you do not make a reasonable effort to prevent further damage, your insurer may not cover the secondary damage. Your best bet is to call the experts at PuroClean Restoration Specialists to perform your water mitigation and restoration, and work with your insurance company.

Here for You 24-7

Natural disasters can leave a lot of damage in their wake. If your home or business has been affected by an emergency situation, give us a call! Our team of experts have the restoration experience to get your property and your life back in order.

Last edited on 9th of September 2019

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