Emergency Preparedness

Are You Prepared?


Are you Prepared?

Featured Author: Jason Arbogast, Federal Law Enforcement Emergency Management Officer

National Emergency Preparedness week is long gone but doesn’t mean it should be over. Preparedness is something that needs to be constant. One should be prepared for the unfortunate and catastrophic events that can happen.

Just because it hasn’t happened to you or your community doesn’t mean it won’t. We should feel lucky and fortunate that a natural or manmade disaster has not occurred. We need to learn from the ones that have happened and apply those lessons to one’s own preparedness.

Take this time evaluate your current situation and if you and or your family are ready to make it through some type of disaster. If you don’t have a plan, make one.

If you don’t have a kit, build one. Prepare your loved ones, do drills at home with your family even if you just talk about what the plan is. That is better than nothing at all. Nobody can be or will be fully prepared to the point your life will be the same during and after the event. As the event is beginning to unfold (early warning stations, news broadcast, etc…) you will begin to initiate your plan.

As things evolve, your plan may change. You will have to adapt and possible change around things. Nothing will go as planned. Always have a backup plan and or plan to improvise your plan to the way the event unfolds.

Plan: The normal used to be to have a minimum of 72 hours of food and water for each person in your household or place of business. The normal today should be 5 days worth of food and water for every person. I would say if you can at least have a 72 hour supply for each person than its better than nothing. You can acquire more in time….

Kit: I realize some of us do not spend our time worrying or thinking about when or if a disaster will occur. On top of that, the last thing they want to do is take the time to go out and spend extra money on something they may never use. Keep in mind although you may not have to use it, it’s their just in case you do have to. Think of it as an insurance policy. We all have to pay auto, home and or medical insurance and some people just never use it. You have for the time you need it! You may pay a few hundred dollars a year in renters or homeowners insurance to protect you from loss. Without it, you will have to pay for damages and the replacing of your valuables out of your own pocket. An emergency kit can be bought premade
or you can build your own for a lot less money.

Security: Security is something that you also need to think about in the event a disaster occurs. Criminals prey on the vulnerable and strike when you least expect it. Some people who don’t have criminal tendencies may turn that way out of survival. If they themselves weren’t prepared or have run out of food, water or shelter, then they will look to where they can get it. So you have to make yourself
a hard target. I am not saying you need to go out and buy a gun, but I would highly recommend it. It may be the only tool you have that might save your life during the disaster. People will assault, rob, murder and steal to stay alive or take advantage of you. It’s human nature to want to survive by whatever means necessary. When a person is that desperate they will do just about anything. Boarding up doors and
windows are also a good idea. That will keep people out or make it harder for them to get in.

Mental preparedness: The right mindset is needed to overcome any stressful situation let alone a disaster or survival incident. Prepare yourself and loved ones by educating yourself, training and practicing your plan. Use items from your kit to put to the test so you can make sure you will actually be able to implement them when the time comes. Just remember to restock your supply! You can take training classes through your local fire department, emergency management center and online. There is a wealth of good information available and most is free or at a minimal cost. Also take advantage of family camping trips or hikes and imagine what you would do if you had to use only what you prepared in your kit.

So ask yourself, are you prepared? If not, it’s time to get moving before it’s too late!

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