September is National Preparedness Month: Are you Prepared?

September 01, 2012

In the wake of Hurricane Isaac, more than 500,000 homes and businesses were without power this weekend throughout Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas.

How many of those homeowners do you think were prepared for this emergency?

While Chicago homeowners generally don’t have to worry about hurricanes, it’s important to be prepared for all kinds of situations, and this is a good month to do it, as September marks the ninth annual National Preparedness Month.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, preparing involves four steps:

first aid kit for emergency preparedness.*Put together an emergency supply kit.

*Draw out emergency plans.

*Stay informed on your surroundings.

*Help your family and community be ready for emergencies.


In a disaster, homes could lose basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones, so your supply kit should contain items that will help you manage those outages, including: flashlights, battery-powered radio, first-aid kit, blankets, batteries and enough water and nonperishable food to last at least three days for everyone in your home (including pets!)


Everyone in your household may not be together when disaster strikes, so it’s important to plan ahead and practice the plan.

*Find the safest spots in your home for different disasters.

*Figure out the best escape routes from each room.

*Teach household members how and when to turn off the water, gas and electricity.

*Own a fire extinguisher and know how to use it.

*Make sure you have adequate homeowners insurance.

*Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms on each floor of your home and outside all bedrooms, and check them regularly to be sure they are working properly.


According to President Barack Obama: “Each of us has an important role to play in bolstering our preparedness for disasters of all types — from cyber incidents and acts of terrorism to tornadoes and flooding. I encourage all Americans to visit to learn more about the risks facing their communities, find out what they can do to prepare, and join thousands of individuals from coast to coast by becoming a member of the National Preparedness Coalition.”


You’ve prepared for an emergency in your home. Want to do more? Take a first-aid class, get trained with an emergency response team in your community or get involved with Citizens Corps, which coordinates activities to help make communities safer and better prepared for an emergency.

Categories: Education

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