Do you know what you would do if an emergency struck tomorrow? Whether it’s something as simple as the flu or as disruptive as a natural disaster, do you have an emergency plan in place for yourself, your family, your loved ones and/or your pets?
We have all seen or heard reports of major emergencies in the news. From hurricanes to tornadoes to floods and fires, not to mention earthquakes, and even water main breaks and power outages, unexpected disasters can impact large numbers of people for days at a time. Emergencies can happen anywhere – at home, at work, or at school – and everyone must take action to prepare for emergencies in case the unexpected occurs.
September is recognized as National Preparedness Month, and it’s a perfect time for everyone to get their household and their family ready for emergencies. Take time now to consider your family’s plan and make any needed updates before you should have to utilize it.
The Red Cross encourages everyone to take three easy action steps during National Preparedness Month:
- Build a kit – Build an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you if you have to evacuate. Include items such as water, non-perishable food, a flashlight and extra batteries, a battery-powered radio, first aid kit and medications. A kit should include three days’ worth of non-perishable food and water, as well as digital copies of important documents and a mobile phone charger for your vehicle.
- Make a plan – Talk with members of your household about what to do during an emergency. Plan what to do in case everyone is separated and choose two places to meet—one right outside the home in case of a sudden emergency such as a fire, and another outside the neighborhood, in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate. Your plan should include a point of contact out-of-town for everyone to communicate with.
- Be informed – Know what kinds of emergency situations may occur where you live, where you work, and where you go to school. Be familiar with the emergency plans at your workplace and/or your school. You should contact and stay in touch with your local emergency management agency to get essential information on specific hazards to your area, local plans for shelter and evacuation, ways to get information before and during an emergency, and how to sign up for emergency alerts if they are available.
Other Preparedness Tips
Be aware of the people in your life who may have special needs. Emergencies can happen at a moment’s notice with little or no warning. People with mobility issues, learning disabilities, and hearing and visual impairments can create specific needs that individuals need to address to be able to respond to an emergency. The Red Cross offers a guide for special needs emergency preparedness.
Get trained in First Aid and CPR/AED so you’ll know what to do in an emergency if help is delayed.
Don’t forget your pets! Plan for them too.
Download the free, all-inclusive Red Cross Emergency App, along with the Monster Guard App to help children get prepared. Children and adolescents are especially vulnerable during disasters and emergencies. Naturally, we want to protect our children from experiencing anxiety and distress. The Red Cross has resources that can help both you and your children manage emotions and deal with the anxiety that emergencies may cause.
You Can Help the Red Cross Stay Prepared
During National Preparedness Month, Price Chopper/Market 32 and News Channel 13 are joining forces to raise funds that will help the Red Cross prepare, respond, and help people recover from disasters big and small. From September 1 – 30, Price Chopper/Market 32 customers can donate $1 or $5 at checkout each time they shop to support Red Cross Disaster Relief. Price Chopper/Market 32 will match all donations made during the month, up to $5,000.
To donate, visit any Price Chopper/Market 32 location in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Pennsylvania or New Hampshire. NewsChannel 13 viewers can also donate online at www.redcross.org/wnyt. For more information about Red Cross Disaster Relief, please visit www.redcross.org/disaster-relief.