National Preparedness Month (NPM) is an observance each September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. The 2021 theme is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.”
MAKE A PLAN
- Talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster. Make sure to update your plan based on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations due to the Coronavirus.
- Identify an out-of-town contact. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
- Memorize phone numbers. Be sure every member of your family knows the phone numbers and has a cell phone or the ability to call emergency contacts. If you have a cell phone, save emergency contacts as “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold of someone you know. Make sure to tell your family and friends that you have listed them as emergency contacts.
- Use text messaging. Make sure all family members know how to use text messaging. Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.
- Subscribe to Mont Belvieu INFOrce Alerts at www.montbelvieu.net/INFOrce. With this system, the City can give you important information via phone, text or email. Register your cell phone as well so you will receive alerts when you are not at home.
- Consider the various types of emergencies that could occur in our area. Flooding, hurricanes, chemical spills, etc. Discuss with your family what you would do in each situation. Depending on the circumstances, you may have to shelter in place or evacuate. Have a plan for both possibilities.
- Complete the Family Emergency Plan Worksheet.
BUILD A KIT
Gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home. Don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly. Update your kits and supplies based on recommendations by the CDC.
No matter what the disaster, you need to have food, water, and essential supplies available. Chances are, you already have many essentials for a disaster kit. Gather them first; then go shopping for the rest. Pack your supplies in a portable container. If you have a large family, divide them into two or three containers. Keep your supplies near your car, ready to load at a moment's notice. And don't forget to periodically replace items that may expire, such as food and batteries.
- NOAA Weather Radio
- Extra batteries
- Water: 1 gallon per person, per day, for at least 3 days
- First aid kit
- Medications, prescriptions, medical equipment, etc.
- Food: 3-day supply of non-perishable canned foods and can opener
- Pet supplies
- Food, water, leash, photos, medicine, sanitation, toys, and a crate
- Important documents (i.e. copies of insurance, birth certificates, etc.)
- Change of clothes
- Baby supplies
- Emergency contact list
- Tool kit
In addition to your full emergency supply kit, you should have one or two smaller "Go Bags" in your workplace, vehicle, or other place you spend time. A "Go Bag" is a collection of items you may need in the event of an evacuation, especially if you are not at home when an evacuation order is issued. A "Go Bag" should be packed in a sturdy, easy-to-carry, preferably water-resistant container such as a backpack or suitcase on wheels.
FAMILY & PROPERTY PREPAREDNESS
Limit the impacts that disasters have on you and your family. Know the risk of disasters in your area. Learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms and other common hazards. Check your insurance coverage to make sure it is up-to-date.
- Disaster can strike without warning. Complete your free Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) today to organize all your crucial documents to:
- Create peace of mind for tomorrow.
- Improve your financial resilience.
- Prepare for your financial future.
- Easily find your crucial household, financial, and medical documents to recover quickly.
- Have all your household, financial, and medical documents in one place to recover quickly after a disaster.
- Store your family's essential household information in a safe place.
TEACH YOUTH ABOUT PREPAREDNESS
Talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved.
- BEFORE an emergency, teach your child how to dial 911
- Make sure everyone, including children, knows how and when to call 911 for help
- Make sure all family members know how to send a text message in case of an emergency
- Who’s your emergency contact? Make sure the kids know who it is and practice with them.
- Practice how to communicate in an emergency with kids. Find ways here: https://www.ready.gov/kids/make-a-plan
- Update school records and discuss emergency contact numbers with kids before they go: https://www.ready.gov/collection/family-communication-plan
- Review your family emergency communications plan with kids at your next household meeting.
- Emergencies can happen anytime, and less than half of American families have a communication plan. Plan ahead: https://www.ready.gov/kids/make-a-plan
- Include your child's medication or supplies in your family’s emergency kit.
- Include your child's favorite stuffed animals, board games, books, or music in their emergency kit to comfort them in a disaster.
- Get the kids involved in building their own emergency kit.
Let your kids visit www.ready.gov/kids to play interactive games and learn about their part in staying safe during emergencies.