September is National Preparedness Month. Both Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma remind us of the importance of coming together as a family & community to prepare.
This year's theme is: "Disasters Don't Plan Ahead. You Can." Take the time to make a plan for yourself, your family and friends. Think about how you will receive emergency alerts and warnings, how and possibly where you will shelter, what are your available evacuation routes and how you will communicate with family in the event of a disaster. Consider the specific needs of your family and household, including pets as well as those who are unable to take care of themselves, such as seniors and the very young. Fill out a family emergency plan and practice that plan with everyone in your household.
It is also vital to prepare in advance to collect and secure important financial documents and records. Having medical information, financial information, insurance documents and other vital records easily accessible after a disaster will help make the recovery process go more smoothly.
When and if disaster strikes, the technology we rely on everyday may not be available. But technology can help us prepare. A few things to put in place now include:
- Register online with American Red Cross's Safe & Be Well site to inform family and friends of your situation in the event of a disaster
- Have an emergency charging station for smartphones and other mobile devices
- Store vital documents in a secure, password protected jump drive or on the cloud
- Sign up for direct deposit and electronic banking
Visit the National Preparedness Month specific website for suggestions on the weekly steps to take to prepare yourself at home, work, school and throughout the community in which you live.
For more tips and advice on preparing your home, family and community in advance, visit Ready.gov.