BUCKHANNON — National Preparedness Month is observed each September to raise awareness about the importance of being prepared for disasters and emergencies.
Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Preparedness Month encourages everyone to take steps to prepare for emergencies in homes, businesses, schools, and communities. The theme for 2021 is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.”
The Record Delta will be featuring a series of weekly topics to help get you prepared during the month of September. Local entities will be sourced each week to help educate the residents of Upshur County to make sure your family is prepared in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.
Each Tuesday, a new weekly theme will be covered that will focus on a different area of preparedness for individuals, families and communities. This week’s theme is “Make A Plan.” Planning out what to do during an emergency or disaster can save lives.
To plan, start by talking to friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster. Always make sure to update the plan based on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations, especially now due to the coronavirus. Communication during a disaster is key.
When planning for emergencies, things to think of could include flood evacuation, fire escape plans, and meeting points. Knowing how to contact one another and reconnect if separated is extremely important. Try to decide on a meeting place that is familiar and easy to find.
Important questions to think of when planning are as follows: How will I receive emergency alerts or warnings? Do I have a shelter plan? What is the best evacuation route? What is the best communication plan? Do I need to update my emergency preparedness kit?
According to Ready.gov, discussing the needs and responsibilities of each person could prove important. Figure out how each person can help with maintaining or re-establishing communication, helping with children and pets, or even operating medical equipment. Make sure to consider ages, responsibilities, locations, food sources, medical needs, disabilities, and animals.
According to the American Red Cross, it is best to practice your emergency plans to allow for understanding from everyone. Fire drills, although not commonly practiced in homes and businesses, would be a good practice to incorporate. Walking to evacuation meeting points can also help cut out confusion.
Many sites can be found to help create a plan for your family or business. If interested, you can visit Ready.gov or redcross.org for more planning tips. The Record Delta will strive to help educate the residents of Upshur County on facts, tips and more regarding National Preparedness Month each Tuesday throughout September, so stay tuned and let us help you get prepared!