Media and news outlets flood our devices and minds with disasters that occur from around the world to ones that happen in our community. Yet 83% of people do not consider themselves very prepared for an emergency according to Ready.gov.
The first step in making sure you are prepared for an emergency is understanding your circumstances. Some of these factors are where you live, family, financial, medical and unusual situations. The VA has created the Comprehensive Emergency Management Program (CEMP), click here to read how the VA can help in preparing and mitigating emergencies to support and help after an emergency has occurred. This is a tool that is available to Veterans and their families and can add additional resources for your Emergency Plan.
Where you live impacts how you prepare and for what type of disaster, to what support should be available after the disaster. For example, someone who lives in rural Kansas would have a different emergency plan than someone who lives in downtown Pensacola Florida. Ready.gov details what to consider when creating your emergency readiness plan click here to read their article. Watch for future articles from Know A Vet? that will cover details on types of natural disaster and what you should include in your Emergency Plan for these disasters.
Once you have identified what types of disasters to prepare for, next you should review your family communication plan, special dietary needs, medication, clothing, what everyone can do during an emergency, and what is the plan if your family is not at home when the disaster occurs. The Marines have downloads to help you create a Family Preparedness Plan, click here to read their article and download their printable forms.
Keeping updated copies in your go bag of important papers, such as driver’s license, passports, insurance information, medical information, list of contacts, lists of shelters and community emergency plans, bank information and other financial information will help you get support and access to resources quicker.
Medical situations should always be considered from making sure you have additional medicine for your go bag to making sure you have a generator to run medical equipment. Click here to read the CDC’s article that reviews topics to consider when reviewing your medical aspect of your Emergency Plan.
Last consider any unusual situations that would apply to you and your family, do you have valuables that you would want to secure, pets that need planned for, what sentimental items are the most important to try and get to a safe location, for example getting a quilt that was passed down from your grandmother.