September is National Preparedness Month, and it was introduced by FEMA back in 2004 and it encourages Americans to be prepared for natural disasters and other emergency situations. This year’s theme, “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love”. Each week in September, the campaign will focus on a different aspect of preparedness for individuals, families, and communities.
According to https://www.ready.gov/september here are each week’s campaigns:
Week 1 September 1-4: Make A Plan
Week 2 September 5-11 : Build A Kit
Week 3 September 12-18: Low-Cost, No-Cost Preparedness
Week 4 September 19-25: Teach Youth About Preparedness
Don’t wait until the next storm disaster because it may already be too late to take certain precautions. Being prepared by taking the following steps can help reduce property damage and get through any storm, fire, or water emergency with less stress.
- Plan an Evacuation Route: Create an evacuation plan and a meeting place. Know where the nearest shelters are located, take your pets into account of your plan, have your important papers in an area easily accessible, and do a trail run especially if you have children.
- Keep non-perishable emergency supplies on hand such as:
- Candles or lamps with fuel
- Matches (keep these dry)
- Materials and tools for emergency home repairs–such as heavy plastic sheeting, plywood, a hammer, etc.
- Prescription drugs
- A three-day supply of drinking water
- Food that you don’t have to refrigerate or cook
- First aid supplies
- A portable NOAA weather radio
- A flashlight
- Take an inventory of your personal property: Make a list of all your valuable personal possessions, if possible, take a video of your home and belongings for insurance purposes. This could speed the claims process, substantiate losses for income tax purposes and is helpful should you need to apply for disaster aid. In the event you need to evacuate, be sure your home inventory is among the important documents you take with you.
- Review your insurance policies: Talk to your insurance agent to make sure you are covered for flooding. Also, covered for living expenses if you are unable to enter your home after a disaster.
- Take steps to protect your home before the next storm: High winds can turn landscaping materials, outdoor furniture and debris into missiles that can break windows and doors or leave holes in your roof. Take the time to store any items in your garage or shed. Trim any old branches and clean gutters before excess water causes foundation water issues.