September is Emergency Preparedness Month for good reason. We have faced emergencies for many years and these seem to be more frequent and more intense. At the same time emergencies frighten and overwhelm us. Now’s the time for us to button up our resources and start small. Some of the simplest ways to prepare are the best and here are 5 small starts to begin.
Online connections are easy until the power or cell service goes out. Create a spreadsheet of family contacts and print it out. Include in your sheet cell and home phones, email addresses, physical addresses and other contact information. Keep this spreadsheet in a kitchen or office top drawer to access.
Create an Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK)
Finances and access to funds seem easy, like simply heading to the ATM for funds. That is not always the case in an emergency. Begin preparing your Emergency Financial Fist Aid Kit with these instructions. Most importantly, keep $500 in cash, in dollar, five dollar, ten dollar and twenty dollar bills. Funds are hard to access if there is no power.
Prep your Emergency Supply Kits
Prepare kits for all the places you will be, whether at home, at work or in the car. Your kits should include supplies for a minimum of three days worth of food and water. Other essentials include battery radio, flashlight, batteries, first aid, medicines and toiletries. Refresh these kits annually.
Family plans can be communicated during family meetings. Talking about the plan makes it less scary and easy to accomplish. Your family plan should include where to meet if there is a fire in your home, where to meet if a disaster happens while your kids are at school and you are at work, and where to meet if you are separated.
If you have cell access, there are 2 helpful apps to download.
FEMA: weather alerts, safety tips and shelter information
American Red Cross: a variety of apps including personal and pet first aid, blood, and hero care
You and your family will have peace of mind knowing you have started preparing.