September is National Preparedness Month, four calendar weeks set specifically aside to encourage citizens to prepare for disasters and emergencies by developing a plan, creating a disaster supply survival kit and staying informed. FEMA Acting Regional Administrator Dennis Hunsinger reminds parents that they are their family's first-responders.
"Emergency plans help families stay in contact if they are separated unexpectedly. If you already have a plan, keep it current. If you don't yet have a plan, get started with free Family Preparedness Plan templates available at www.ready.gov," said Hunsinger. "Another great resource is Ready Kids available at www.ready.gov/kids. It's a family-friendly tool that helps parents and teachers educate children ages 8-12 about emergencies, and how they can better prepare."
Ready Kids features fun activities such as Pack it Up Matching games, crossword puzzles, coloring pages and Scavenger Hunts, as well as step-by-step instructions on the role kids can play in family preparedness.
FEMA recommends that individuals and families prepare a disaster supply kit since it may take time for help to arrive and shelters and food to become available following a disaster. Detailed checklists are available at Ready.gov, but minimum guidelines include:
- Store at least one gallon of water per person per day, and store the water in plastic containers. Water should be replaced every six months
- Store at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable food per person to include ready-to-eat canned fruits and vegetables, canned meats, and energy bars
- Basic first-aid supplies like adhesive bandages, gauze pads, and antiseptic wipes
- Essential medications
- A copy of emergency contact numbers, a battery operated radio, a flashlight, and extra batteries.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.