Emergency Preparedness: Are You Ready for a Disaster?
National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and held annually in September, is a good reminder that natural and man-made disasters can strike at any time. It's important to have a planned response when you're at work, on vacation or on the road.
In 2017, 59,985 weather-related events resulted in 592 deaths and 4,270 injuries. Flash floods, tropical storms and heat waves resulted in the most deaths that year, according to Injury Facts.
The National Safety Council offers safety tips specific to each of the following emergencies:
Federal agencies, like Ready.gov, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also are valuable resources for emergency preparedness. When you face a natural or man-made emergency, try to stay informed through radio, TV or the Internet. In some cases, however, cable, electric and cell phone service will be disabled, making communication nearly impossible. The National Safety Council recommends the following general precautions that apply to many disaster situations:
Make sure to have a family communication plan in place; all members of the family should review and practice the plan
Have all family members' and other important phone numbers written down or memorized
Have an emergency kit in your car and at least three days of food and water at home
Be sure to store all important documents – birth certificates, insurance policies, etc. – in a fire-proof safe or safety deposit box
Assign one family member the responsibility of learning first aid and CPR
Know how to shut off utilities