Family Preparedness Friday

National Preparedness Month: Pledge to Prepare

September is National Preparedness Month (NPM), which was founded after 9/11 to increase preparedness in the U.S. It is a time to prepare yourself and those in your care for an unexpected emergency.

Emergencies can happen anytime and anywhere. If you’ve seen the news recently, you know that emergencies can happen unexpectedly in communities and families just like yours. This September, please prepare in the event your family must go for a few days without electricity, water service, access to a supermarket or local services. Just follow these four steps:

Be Informed. Make a Plan. Get a Kit. Get Involved.

Be Informed
In addition to the Ready.gov site, free information is available from EDEN, federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial resources to assist you. Contact your local emergency management agencies to get details on specific hazards in your area, local plans for shelter and evacuation, ways to get specific information before and during an emergency, and how to sign up to receive emergency alerts if they are available.

Make a Plan
Discuss and agree on an emergency plan with your family. You can utilize EDEN’s Family Preparedness Course to help create your family’s plan, or download a plan to fill in from www.Ready.gov.

Build an Emergency Kit
Keep enough emergency supplies on hand for your family – water, non-perishable food, first aid, prescriptions, flashlight, and a battery-powered radio. If you own pets, remember to include their food and supplies in your supply kit. The Ready Kids family-friendly website features instructions on what families and teachers can do to prepare for emergencies and the role kids can play in that effort. Spanish material is available at Listo Niños.

Get Involved
There are many ways to Get Involved especially before a disaster occurs. The whole community can participate in programs and activities to make their families, homes and communities safer from risks and threats. Community leaders agree the formula for ensuring a safer homeland consists of volunteers, a trained and informed public and increased support of emergency response agencies during disasters. Major disasters can overwhelm first responder agencies, empowering individuals to lend support

Consider planning a Ready Kids event in your community to encourage other families to remember, and prepare. Sample activities that are great for schools, scouts and other youth groups include:
• Helping Girl Scouts & Boy Scout work towards achieving their new Preparedness Patch
• Volunteering to present preparedness information in your child’s class or in PTO/PTA meetings
• Inviting officials from your local Office of Emergency Management, Citizen Corps Council, or first responder teams to speak at schools or youth events

As FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate reminds us, “Individuals and families are the most important members of the nation’s emergency management team. Being prepared can save precious time if there is a need to respond to an emergency.”

What do you have planned for National Preparedness Month?
If you need ideas check out the EDEN website: www.EDEN.lsu.edu