September is National Preparedness Month
Being prepared for disasters includes safety planning
Each September, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) shares information on how to stay safe during National Preparedness Month. The first step in safety preparation is creating communication plans. Communication is vital to staying safe. Rather than prepare for every possible event, you can strengthen your communications so that you best react in a variety of emergencies.
Valley Rural Electric Cooperative encourages you to take the time to focus on how to stay safe during potential disasters. Brush up on the safety practices in your area and recognize the danger of electricity, including electrical hazards left in the wake of a disaster such as potential downed power lines and natural gas leaks.
Considering the risks that disasters present, Safe Electricity shares these tips to develop plans to keep you and loved ones out of harm’s way.
- Take all weather warnings seriously and develop a plan of action with your family.
- Develop and practice action plans for different emergencies that could happen in your area. Acknowledge what to do if separated. Consider the needs of your family, including medical precautions.
- Identify someone who lives out of town whom you and your family can contact during an emergency if communication in your area is compromised.
- To ease the strain in an emergency, collect important documents and keep them in a safe and accessible place.
- In order to communicate safely, make sure that you are familiar with how those in your area are notified during an emergency.
- Follow relevant social media channels and local news centers. These sources often provide updates on weather conditions or power outages.
- To prepare for the inevitable, assemble an emergency kit. This should include non-perishable food, water, a flashlight with fresh batteries, a first aid kit, and essential medications. For a list of items to include in your emergency kit, visit Valley's Storm Center page or download this Storm Preparedness Kit Checklist (PDF, 218 KB) from Safe Electricity.
- Always follow all recommended evacuation routes and make sure that you lock and secure all windows before leaving the home.
Remember that when you prepare, you will be able to act with greater know-how and confidence. The communications that you develop during National Preparedness Month will help keep you safe all year long.
Article and images courtesy of SafeElectricity.org with modifications by Valley Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc.