Prepare now for an emergency anytime
By Julie Atwood, founder of HALTER Project
September is National Preparedness Month. We usually associate the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with disaster response, but its greater message is about year-round preparedness and engaging the whole community. Data compiled over more than a decade shows that communities working together rebound faster financially, physically, and emotionally.
Across the nation the role models for community resilience, time and again, are those in rural areas. Farmers and ranchers, faith-based groups, and other small-town organizations traditionally and historically have come together to help each other out in times of crisis.
As urban/suburban development eats up more and more agricultural land, and the boundaries between city and country become increasingly blurred, much of those neighbor-to-neighbor connections have been lost. FEMA, and common sense, point toward the vital importance of neighborliness and personal preparedness.
Make September the start of the your “Year of Preparedness.”
Take a moment to explore FEMA’s Preparedness Month weekly themes and create your own action plan for your family, your business, and your community.
Week 1: Sept. 1-9Make a plan for yourself, family and friends. Remember to make plans for livestock, workers, and non-English speakers.
Week 2: Sept. 10-16Plan to help your neighbors and community. Get to know your neighbors, exchange contacts, make a “mutual aid” plan and assess risks.
Week 3: Sept. 17-23Practice and build out your plans. Hold family safety meetings and drills just as you do in your work place. Create a phone tree. Update your site plans and note new construction.
Week 4: Sept. 24-30
Get involved! Be a part of something larger: volunteer with Red Cross, churches, or other community groups. Join a CERT (Certified Emergency Response Team). Start a Community Animal Response Team (CART).
For more information, go to www.ready.gov/september.