by Krystal Smith, Regional Digital Communications Specialist American Red Cross
If we learned anything from 2017, it’s the importance of being prepared for anything. From the destruction caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Nate and Maria, to the devastating California wildfires, to the heart-breaking Las Vegas and Sutherland shootings, to multiple tragic home fires, 2017 will go down in history as a tumultuous time for many people. While we can’t prevent all tragedies from occurring, we can take steps to ensure we are prepared in 2018. Check out these five steps to be prepared in 2018.
A go-bag or emergency kit is essential for all disasters. Use this downloadable checklist to ensure you have everything from food and water, flashlights and batteries, to chargers, blankets, medications and more.
Your go-bag should be equipped with 3-days worth of supplies and your home bag should have enough supplies to last 2-weeks.
You and your family should have a plan for every emergency. Where should you go if you hear a tornado siren? Does everyone know two ways to escape each room in case of a home fire? If forced to evacuate, where will everyone meet?
Having plans in place before a disaster occurs helps create confidence during a disaster. When all family members meet at an agreed-upon, centralized location, everyone is accounted for quickly and easily. This prevents further crisis by one or more members putting themselves in harm’s way looking for missing family.
Prior to disasters, learn which disasters are most likely to occur in your area. Know how to prepare yourself and your family should any of these disasters occur.
During a disaster, stay informed of changing conditions. Keep a NOAA Weather Radio nearby to ensure you hear the latest weather updates and know when it is safe to leave your shelter.
Whether you’re preparing for, in the midst of, or recovering from disaster, the American Red Cross Emergency App can help. Equipped with customizable weather alerts, preparedness tips, tool kits, and fun quizzes to test your knowledge, the Emergency App helps ensure you are ready for anything that comes your way.
5: Practice Regularly!
Practice makes perfect! While preparation is important, practicing it regularly is what makes it effective in an emergency. By nature, disasters are chaotic, and knowing where to go and what to do should be an automated response in order to keep you and your family safe.
The new year has only just started, so let’s resolve to take these five steps together and be prepared in 2018: Get a kit > Make a plan > Be informed > Download the Emergency App > Practice!