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National Preparedness Month:
Make a Plan to Prepare for Disasters

Creating a written Emergency Plan can make it easy for all members of your family to know exactly what to do Before, During and After an emergency. Typical modes of communication may be unreliable during a disaster, which is why solidifying the plan with all – including children, people with disabilities, caregivers and out of town contacts – is imperative to disaster preparedness. If you’re familiar with the 5 Ws (and 1 H), these questions will be a good start to your planning:

  1. Who is involved in my family/household communication plan?
  2. When do I need to update my emergency preparedness kit?
  3. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  4. What is my evacuation route?
  5. Where will I shelter?

Here’s a shortlist of items for your preparedness plan:

  • Complete a written and photographic inventory of your home and its contents

  • Gather your important documents like birth certificates, passports, deeds, and insurance papers and keep them in a fireproof/waterproof box. Keep digital copies stored on your home computer and backed up to the cloud. If you have to, take pictures of the documents.

  • Be smart with tech – make sure your phone is charged in the event of a storm and make sure your chargers are easily accessible

  • Know your options for sheltering at home, in place, or within a mass care shelter

  • Make an emergency evacuation plan for your whole family. And not just at home – any locations you frequently visit such as offices or school

  • If you get told to evacuate in a storm, be ready to do so immediately