Seattle, Wash. -- There's no telling what the future holds - and building bright futures often requires grappling with dark realities. Floods, winter storms, earthquakes - no matter what Mother Nature has in store, preparing ahead of time to mitigate damage will reduce damage - and regrets. Need a catalyst to convert good intentions into effective emergency plans? FEMA Deputy Regional Director Tammy Doherty suggests you build them into your 2001 New Year Resolutions!
"Natural disasters strike with little or no warning," said Doherty. "Every family and every community in the country should take action now to reduce the effects of future disasters."
New Years resolutions that could make for a safer and more secure 2001 might include:
- Install smoke detectors, freshen batteries and mark your calendar for routine inspections.
- Keep serviceable fire extinguishers in kitchens, garages, risk areas and autos.
- Stock emergency supplies for 72 hour independent action - and schedule periodic rotation to keep supplies fresh.
- Re-evaluate flood insurance coverage to make sure it is adequate to your current needs. If you don't have flood insurance, get some!
- Stock or restock disaster kits for home, office and auto (first aid kits, food, water and prescription medications for 72 hours, extra clothing, blankets, flashlights).
- Teach all responsible family members how to shut off water, gas and power in case of emergencies.
- Build Pet Disaster Kits (food, water, leashes, dishes and carrying case or crate).
- Create family disaster communications plans - and schedule biannual practices.