September is National Preparedness Month, and the message from FEMA this year is clear: Disasters don’t plan ahead; you can. There are some steps you can take to ensure you are prepared for disasters.
Practice Your Plan
If a fire happens at your home, does your family know how to evacuate? If you need to leave your home quickly, can you do it? Do you have important documents in an accessible location? Having an emergency plan is half the battle. Practicing that plan through drills can greatly enhance your preparedness.
Learn skills to help your family and neighbors
During disasters, emergency responders may be stretched, meaning help may not arrive quickly. Learning skills such as CPR, basic fire suppression, first aid and more can help save lives. The Red Cross of Southern Nevada offers a number of courses. You can also join the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), which teaches you how to fight small fires, conduct search and rescue operations and more.
Once you have better prepared yourself and your family; and learned essential life-saving skills; spread the word. Build preparedness communities in your neighborhood, business, school or church. You can also sign up to receive community-based alerts or download the Southern Nevada Emergency Preparedness App.
Make a Plan
Do you know how you will survive a disaster for a day? A week? A month? Determining your family’s food, shelter, medicinal and financial needs ahead of time can better prepare you in the event that your supplies are disrupted. Learn how to make a disaster plan here. And don’t forget to plan for an emergency in your car.
It’s important to keep disaster kits in a designated place in your home, as well as in your car and in your workplace (if feasible), as you may not be home when a disaster occurs. You should also develop a schedule for changing out supplies that may expire over time.
Here are some emergency shopping lists for your family AND your pets.