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November 19, 2013 02:42 PM CST

Emergency Preparedness

Author: Brea Adams. 1428 Reads
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Emergency Preparedness


Knowing your Disasters
Each year, millions of people are affected by different types of emergency events. The first step in preparing for a possible emergency is to be aware of the different types of events, the risks involving these events, and the impact they could have on you and your community. Knowing this information will leave you better prepared to create a plan, the next step in Emergency Preparedness.

Disaster Types
There are four main categories of disasters: Natural Disasters consisting of extreme heat, fires, floods, thunderstorms & lightning, tornadoes, and winter storms & extreme cold; Pandemic or Influenza Pandemic; Technical & Accidental including blackouts, hazardous materials, household chemicals, and nuclear power plants; and Terrorist Hazards.


Create a Plan
To be prepared, you first need to know what you would do in the event of an emergency, hence, creating a plan. Being prepared implies that, should an emergency occur, you are ready to respond to that specific event. It is important to remember that not all emergencies are the same. Your plans should be tailored to the needs of you and your family per each possible scenario.

Preparedness at home is a personal project. There are two basic emergency events: those that force you to leave your home and those that force you to remain at home. For planning purposes, either course of action should be thought of as a three day event and you should take steps to prepare with that time frame in mind. Consider the following questions...

  • What would you need to take with you to be out of your home for three days?
  • Where would you go?
  • What would you need to have on hand at home for three days to survive?

The answers to these questions will vary by person and type of emergency event.

Test your Plan
Once you have created a plan, you will then need to test the plan to make sure it is suitable to you and your family's needs and capabilities. If you act out the scenario and the plan doesn't work, go back and make the necessary changes. If you have children, it is especially important to make sure they understand the plan and are capable of following through with it.

Share your Plans
After you have created a solid plan for you and your family, share your plans with your support group. Having a support group doesn't have to be anything fancy, it really just refers to those that may be able to help you in a time of need. Examples of this could be relatives, neighbors, and family friends. Sharing this information lets these people know what your plan is and how they might be involved.

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Flood Inundation Mapping

Flood Inundation Map NOAA/USGS Flood Inundation mapping is now available to the public. These maps will show the extent of flooding that can be expected over a given area, helping indicate when floodwaters are likely to impact roadways, streets, buildings, etc. See it for yourself at the National Weather Service's Flood Inundation Mapping page.

Volunteers Wanted!
Without volunteers, this world would be a very different place.  Anywhere you go, stories of the kindness and generosity of everyday people reaching out to help others can be heard.Be a volunteer in your community.  Every person has a skill that can be offered during an emergency, and you never know whose lives you might be helping in doing so.
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