It’s National Preparedness Month

Natural disasters or other emergencies, such as house fires, gas leaks, or chemical spills, can occur anytime … so it’s important your family be prepared always. To help, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), within the Department of Homeland Security, designates September as National Preparedness Month encouraging everyone to make a plan to keep their homes, families, pets, workplaces, and communities safe.

Emergency Planning Made Easier
This year’s theme “Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today” stresses the importance of planning now so you’re ready whenever needed. It’s easier than ever to participate, thanks to resources available at Ready.gov and the culmination of the month, with National PrepareAthon! Day on September 30th. FEMA provides plenty of resources and information to make your planning super easy.

  • be informed
  • make a plan
  • build a kit
  • get involved
  • spread the word

If you lead a community group, are a teacher, or are in charge of safety at work, Ready.gov also provides graphics and images for communications as well as games for kids, and specific workplace planning tips. At Alert 360, we’re also available to walk you through how our monitored security system or home automation services can lend a hand during an emergency.

Don’t Put Off Emergency Preparedness Planning
Just imagining a disaster or emergency can be overwhelming. However, it’s no excuse to put off planning. A great place to start is to talk with your family, neighbors and coworkers to determine how you want to participate in National Preparedness Month by choosing one or all of the following steps:

  • put together an emergency supply kit
  • create a family emergency plan
  • learn about different emergencies that can occur in your area
  • become trained or involved in community preparedness and response efforts
  • learn what local organizations can help when disaster strikes

Consider Various Emergency Scenarios and Involve Others
It’s especially important to remember that your family may not be together when a disaster strikes, which makes planning critical. Discuss together and make a plan for how you will get to a safe place; contact one another; get back together; and what you will do in different situations.

Family communications, from how you will reach your daycare to designating a meeting place or an out-of-town contact who can help relay information, are critical for staying safe and maintaining peace of mind. Check out this handy Family Communication Plan for Parents and Kids when making your plan.

The more people involved and educated, the better. In addition to preparation and planning at your school, home and work, don’t forget your neighbors. If you’re involved in neighborhood safety efforts, be sure to include emergency preparedness at your monthly meeting. Local emergency organizations, such as the Red Cross, are often able to attend meetings to share information and resources.

Use your Smartphone to Check in Remotely 
In the event of a power outage and if your home is not severely damaged, your wireless security system will continue to operate. Depending on the service you have monitored by your alarm monitoring company, your system can alert you to a variety of hazards, such as fire, break-ins, and the presence of water or carbon monoxide. If you’re evacuated, remote alarm and video monitoring would also allow you to check in using your mobile device or laptop to see if all is well at home. If your system includes home automation options, use it to turn off or on appliances while you’re away.

Plan Now and Stay Safe During an Emergency 
No one likes to think about an emergency, but being prepared and taking steps now can help you stay calm during one. And because emergencies can occur any time of day or night, whether you’re home, at school or work, you’ll want to keep in mind a course of action and what’s needed no matter the time of day or where you are. Participating during National Preparedness Month can make it easier and helps ensure more of us are ready and able to help keep our loved ones and communities safe.

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