‘Prepared, Not Scared’
Alaskans know how quickly disaster can strike— earthquakes, snowstorms, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions are simply a part of living in such a unique and beautiful place. But disasters can strike anywhere, especially as we deal with the effects of climate change: In the first half of 2019, natural disasters forced a record 7 million people to be displaced.
Prepare now to have the tools and plans in place to make it on your own, at least for a period of time, no matter where you are when disaster strikes. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has designated September as National Preparedness Month to promote emergency planning now and throughout the year, as the key to weathering any disaster is preparation.
The DHS recommends the following preparedness tips:
- Compile a kit of emergency supplies to last each family member at least three days. Include a gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitation, non-perishable food items, warm clothes and sleeping bags, a first aid kit, flashlights and a battery-powered radio, and wet wipes and hand sanitizer.
- Make a plan for what you will do in an emergency. Develop a family communications plan, a plan to shelter-in-place and a plan to get away. Know emergency plans at school and work.
- Be informed about what might happen. The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System is the nation’s alert and warning infrastructure. It includes warnings to broadcast, cable, satellite and wireline communication pathways; emergency text messages; and digital road signs, sirens and other systems. To sign up for emergency text messaging, visit www.ctia.org/WEA.
- Get involved in preparing your community. After preparing yourself and your family, take the next step and get involved in preparing your community. Consider joining Citizen Corps, which actively involves citizens in making our communities and our nation safer. For more information, visit www.citizencorps.gov.
Take time this month to make sure you have the tools to prepare for whatever lies ahead. For more information, including a week-by-week preparedness plan, visit www.ready.gov/September.