Are you prepared for an emergency?

Emergencies are unknown. They can come anytime and can strike us at any place. We have been witnessing tornado outbreaks, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, and power outages that impact communities for days at a time. In fact, Louisiana is barely recovering from the historic flood that they had back in August and just early this month we heard about the powerful earthquake that rattled Oklahoma. The question to ask is: would you be ready if there were an emergency?

Surprisingly, most of Americans are not. Actually, Citizen Corps National Survey (2009) revealed that only 57% of Americans have supplies for disasters, and only 44% have a household emergency plan.

National Preparedness Month was stated in 2004 and now is observed each September in the United States of America. This initiative is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in order to encourage Americans to be ready when an emergency strikes. No matter if it is a natural disaster or a terrorist attack, and no matter is its at home, working or at school: everybody should be prepared.

As emergencies can happen anytime and anywhere, there is important steps you can take to be equipped. Here are a few ideas:strengthening-families

• Put together an emergency kit. Stock water, flashlights, a portable radio and a fire extinguisher. Buy or create a first aid kit. Store water and non-perishable foods that will last at least for 3 days.
• Develop or update a family plan.
• Stay informed about the different emergencies that may affect your area of residence.
• Get trained and become engaged in community preparedness and response efforts.
• Store things that matter most. Family documents are essential. Gather birth certificates, insurance papers and mortgage documents. Keep some cash on hand. Then store everything in one convenient place.
• Locate where the utility connections are and learn how to shut off the gas, electricity and water if necessary.
• Choose an out-of-the-area friend or relative to be a contact person.
• Ensure your vehicle is in working order and always has gas.
• At work, learn your company’s emergency plan and practice it.
• Parents should keep contact information and learn the school’s disaster plan.

You need to be ready and the time to prepare is now. We encourage you and your family to be cautious, because recommendations like these may help save lives!

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