A recent tv series about people who prepare for disaster soon became the source of comedy for office water coolers and late-night television. It’s all too easy to dismiss the idea of preparing when it seems like a joke. Really we all prepare for something: work, vacation, a new baby. Preparing is nothing more than getting ready for an event, having those proverbial ducks all lined up.
In the month of April, not-so-pleasant events captured the headlines: earthquake, floods, tornadoes. It’s possible to be prepared or get ready for these incidents as well. That’s why this coming Saturday, April 30, has been declared the National PrepareAthon. A second PrepareAthon will be held in September.
What is a PrepareAthon? It’s a day to remind families to get ready for an emergency. What that emergency might be is determined by where you live and your lifestyle.
It’s easy to get ready. Here are 10 easy things your family can do
- Sign up for local alerts and warnings, download apps, and/or check access for wireless emergency alerts. Check for reverse 911 alerts for your cell phone;
- Develop and test family emergency communication plans;
- Assemble or update emergency supplies;
- Learn about local hazards and conduct a drill to practice emergency response actions;
- Participate in a preparedness discussion, training, or classes;
- Collect and safeguard critical documents. Take pictures of them with your cell phone;
- Document property and obtain appropriate insurance for relevant hazards. Again you can use your cell phone and make a video as you walk through your house narrating with descriptions. This can be a task for your teen;
- Make property improvements to reduce potential injury and property damage (mitigation);
- Hold a scenario-based practice with your family. Make it a special day that the family looks forward to; and
- Plan with neighbors to help each other and share resources.
Even if you can’t do all of these things right now, each one that you do is a step forward.