Most of being prepared for an emergency or natural disaster is about planning and being ready just in case. This is why the theme for National Preparedness Month this September is “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.” Ready.gov describes the goal of this year’s preparedness month by saying: “We are all able to help first responders in our community by training how to respond during an emergency and what to do when disaster strikes — where we live, work, and visit.”
1. Know Your Risk
The first step to being prepared is knowing what sort of emergencies are most likely in your area. Some areas of the U.S. have to worry about hurricanes while others are concerned about wildfires or earthquakes. If you aren’t sure what emergencies you might face in your area, do some research. Make sure your home and flood insurance are appropriate for emergencies you could face.
2. Sign Up For Emergency Alerts
Now that you’re aware of what disasters you could face, make sure you’ll be alerted when an event is predicted. Severe weather alerts are always a good idea. Certain emergency alerts come to you automatically through your television or smart phone. You can also sign up for certain alerts to be sent to your mobile device that are specific to your area. The Red Cross provides mobile apps for various kinds of emergencies depending on your needs. FEMA also provides an app that lets you set-up five locations for alerts and find disaster resources. If you’re a Guardian customer, you may also receive weather alerts on your keypad, drawing immediate attention to upcoming severe weather. Learn more.
3. Have a Plan
Ready.gov recommends that your plan address alerts, shelter, evacuation and family communication. Your family’s health needs must also be taken into consideration including medical and dietary needs, pet needs and your family’s frequently visited locations. As a part of the America’s PrepareAthon! event that occurs every September, Fema.gov provides a template for your plan that makes the process as easy as possible. Once your plan is in place, you should practice going through it and review it every year. Preparedness month is a great time for a review.
4. Build a Kit
Now that you have a plan, you need to make sure you have the supplies on hand to enact the plan if needed. Make sure a store of water, food, first aid, flashlights, back up batteries and pet supplies are available in case you end up stuck in your home, possibly without power. Certain disasters might leave you trapped in your home for multiple days. Being prepared for 72 hours is a best practice. Learn more about how to build a kit.
5. Consider Home Security
A home security system can provide some comfort in an emergency. As previously described, many keypads provide severe weather alerts to help ensure that you’re notified of an upcoming event. If you must leave your home in anticipation of a weather event, you can check-in with your system via your smartphone as long as your system has power and a communication method.
6. Consider the Right Types of Monitoring
Adding fire monitoring to your home security monitoring can allow you and emergency responders to be notified if your smoke detector activates. If you’re facing a medical emergency, you can press the panic button to be connected with our monitoring center who can alert first responders. This means you’re prepared for a variety of emergencies, not just weather events and natural disasters.
If you’re interested in learning more about adding home security, contact us.