Are you ready for whatever Mother Nature might dish out? According to a recent survey from the folks at Ready.gov show that nearly 60% of respondents do NOT have a household emergency plan with instructions for household members about where to go and what to do in the event of a disaster.
Every year, Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1st and ends November 30th. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15th and ends November 30th. If you have not prepared a basic Disaster Supplies Kit yet – now is the time to do so to ensure you are prepared for anything that might come your way.
Find Out if Your Mobile Device is WEA-Capable
WEA stands for Wireless Emergency Alerts and they have life-saving potential in an emergency. Watch this short video to learn how they work:
Wireless Emergency Alerts are automatic texts sent to you during an emergency. Before you receive an alert, FEMA must first authorize the federal, state, local, and tribal public safety agencies.
Once the alert originators are authorized, FEMA takes the messages from the organization that submitted it and transmits the message to the participating wireless providers. Based on the information received, the wireless providers send the message to WEA-capable phones in the specified geographic zone.
WEAs are automatically sent out by your mobile carrier and you need do nothing to receive them. You do, however, need to ensure that your mobile device is WEA-capable. To do so, just check with your mobile carrier and tell them the type of phone that you have. With WEA, warnings are sent to your mobile device when you may be in harm’s way – with no need to download an app or subscribe to a service.
Build an Emergency Kit
What you put into your emergency kit depends a lot on your family. You need to remember items for the little ones (such as diapers and formula and a toy or two to keep them occupied), dietary needs of family members, prescription medications and eyeglasses. You can find a detailed list of items (including those items you would not readily think about – I know I didn’t – available in PDF format to download) here, and I have listed below the information from the Basic Disaster Supplies Kit from Ready.gov:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
Make a Family Communication Plan
In the event of a disaster, you and your family can become separated. Having a Family Communication Plan in place before disaster strikes, is of vital importance to keeping your family safe, in communication with each other, and knowing what to do if you are separated. You can download an extensive, in-depth guide entitled, “How to Prepare for a Hurricane” from FEMA that will give you all the information you need to keep your family safe during an emergency.
Keeping your family safe is something that every parent worries about. Taking steps to prepare a Household Emergency Plan, a Family Communication Plan, and an Emergency Kit for your car and your home will give you peace of mind and protect your family if you find yourself in the middle of a natural disaster.