Hurricane season begins on June 1, but residents should remember that disaster preparedness is a year-round responsibility. Having a preparedness plan helps everyone act quickly and decisively in the face of a disaster and can minimize loss of property and prevent death and injury.
An emergency plan should include ensuring those with disabilities have a proper evacuation plan. Plan transportation needs ahead of time and make sure those with medical needs have backup power for equipment.
Emergency Preparedness Is a Year-Round Responsibility
First responders cannot always reach disaster survivors quickly, so it is important to be able to take care of injured or disabled family members until help arrives. Citizens can help by learning first aid or volunteering with other local organizations.
Everyone should have an emergency kit with enough supplies to survive for 10 days, including water, non-perishable food, non-electric can openers, flashlights, batteries, cash and important family documents. Children also should be allowed to include favorite small toys or games.
Children should be encouraged to participate in any family emergency planning. Teach kids how to communicate during an emergency, including how to dial 9-1-1 or send text messages. Practicing a plan also helps children know what to do during a disaster.
Budget concerns can keep families from buying all the items necessary for an emergency kit. However, it is not essential to make all the purchases at once. Families are encouraged to spread out the purchase of supplies and make use of coupons and discounts. Buying used radios and flashlights also can be more affordable.
An emergency plan should also include ensuring those with disabilities or special needs have a proper evacuation plan. Plan transportation needs ahead of time and make sure those with medical needs have backup power for equipment.
Federal Coordinating Office Michael Byrne said citizens are our best first responders. “This is when neighbor helping neighbor is not just a phrase or an idea, but reality,” he said. “They all contribute to the response from local, federal and private sector partners.”
For more information on how to better prepare for disasters and tips on developing a family emergency kit, visit www.ready.gov. Visit this link to learn more about how to be the help until help arrives.
Update Your Documents Now
In the middle of an emergency it might be difficult to think clearly and gather what you need. That’s why it might be a good idea to update your documents now that hurricane season is about to end.
Having all your important documents organized now can help you after an emergency. This can help when filing insurance claims or applying for federal disaster assistance.
Updating documents applies to individuals, families and business owners. Check which ones apply to you.
Government-issued identification like a driver’s license, children’s ID or Real ID
Wills and death certificates
Articles of incorporation
List of officers, directors and employees’ names and phone numbers
Tax related documents
Preparedness plans and evacuation routes
Apartment building documents
Master deed for common areas
Master insurance policies
List of names and addresses of all unit owners and renters and those who may need help in case of emergency
Emergency plan and evacuation routes
Proof of occupancy documents
Driver’s license, government-issued identification card or voter registration card
Electric, water, cable or phone bills
Bank or credit card statements
Proof of home ownership documents
Deed, property title or lease
Bill of payment record
Land installment contract
Mortgage documentation or payment booklet
Make digital copies of your documents and store them in a cloud or thumb drive. Protect hard copies from
damage and floods by storing them in sealed plastic bags, and remember to update your documents every six
Being prepared now will ensure that you, your family or your business are ready for any disaster or emergency.
If an earthquake occurs close to shore, the first in a series of waves could reach the beach within minutes.
What to do:
- Move to high ground and away from water.
- Follow evacuation orders issued by local authorities immediately.
- Help neighbors who may require special assistance.
- Save yourself - not your possessions.
Regardless of when they form and the geographic location they hit, hurricanes leave a path of destruction for everyone to repair. In situations like these, the only thing we can do is make sure we prepare for the hurricane before it arrives.