September is National Disaster Preparedness Month in the United States. There could be no greater reminder of the need for family preparedness than the extraordinary natural disasters we have all witnessed this month already. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria crashed through Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean Islands, bringing destruction and floods. Meanwhile there were wildfires raging in California, including one next door in Los Angeles County that caused thousands of people to have to evacuate. Then two gigantic earthquakes—Magnitude 8.1 and 7.1—hit our southern neighbor, Mexico.
Families had to flee their homes with a moment’s notice. What if that happened here, from earthquake, mudslide or wildfire? What if an earthquake occurred and roads, power and communication were shut down for days or weeks?
Do you and your family and friends have a plan?
We have been searching for good tools to help our local Mountain Community families put together family emergency preparedness plans. Please have a look at the tool put in place by the State of California a few years ago. Find it here.
You will find forms to download, print out, and fill in with important information every member of your family should have with you. It will have phone numbers, addresses, names and contact information for out-of-area family members (or close friends) who are not affected by the local disaster and can help coordinate your family’s efforts to contact each other. It also coaches you and your family to select local and out-of-area meeting places to reunite your loved ones.
This plan also provides a children’s book you can download and customize with your own names to read to your younger children—and to each other—to remind us all why it is important to work together as a family to put together our emergency preparedness plans, pack our emergency preparedness Go-Kits with the supplies we need if we shelter in place at home, plus the supplies we will need in our vehicles and the supplies we need in our personal backpacks.
Thinking about a disaster in our hometown is not fun, but getting prepared together makes us all feel stronger and more confident.
This is National Preparedness Month. This is the time to get prepared.
—The Mountain Enterprise staff
This is part of the September 22, 2017 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
Have an opinion on this matter? We'd like to hear from you.