Do you have emergency supplies set aside in case there’s a disaster? Does your family have an emergency plan? For many people, planning for an emergency or disaster isn’t a priority. According to the 2009 Citizen Corps National Survey, only 36 percent of individuals believed there was a high likelihood of a natural disaster to EVER happen in their community. Many people think they have everything they need in the event of an emergency at hand, and can simply “grab and go.”
You are your family’s first responder, and in many ways you are your neighbor’s first responder. All of us as participants in our communities and members of our families need to take concrete steps to proactively prepare for emergencies and disasters. Local, state, and national authorities are going to help, but they may not be able to get to you right away. We all need to be prepared for those first 72 hours before help can reach us.
September is National Preparedness Month (NPM)—the perfect time to take action and get your family Ready. Readiness comes in many forms and preparedness is everyone’s responsibility. We have to work together, as a team, to ensure that our families, neighborhoods, and communities are Ready. Get an emergency supply kit. Make a family emergency plan. Be informed about the risks in your area. Work with your neighbor and know who might need just a little extra help.
To help get your family started, Ready Kids is a family-friendly, children-oriented tool to help parents and teachers educate children, ages 8-12, about emergencies and how they can help families better prepare. The Ready Kids Web site at ready.gov features fun activities such as a Scavenger Hunt, Pack It Up Matching game, crossword puzzles and coloring pages, as well as age-appropriate, step-by-step instructions on what families can do to better prepare for emergencies and the role kids can play in that effort.
It’s important to explain to your children that families can prepare for emergencies before they take place and that they can help, too. By doing so, you can alleviate anxiety if an emergency does occur and help to nurture a more prepared society for generations to come. Visit ready.gov/kids today and get Ready!