REGION – September is National Preparedness Month. The past eighteen months of being in a global pandemic has certainly put a new spin on preparedness. Some individuals, families and businesses had plans for responding to fires, tornadoes, and other natural disasters. Some even had plans for public health emergencies such as outbreaks. For many, these plans, even though they may not have addressed responding to a long-term global pandemic, there was still value in being prepared. This year’s theme is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.”
Make A Plan: What is your family emergency plan? Businesses should also have a plan. Some plans may need to be modified based on recommendations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Have you practiced any drills in the last year both at home and at work? The “Do 1 Thing” campaign is a wonderful resource for individuals and businesses. Following just a few simple steps each month will help create a plan by the end of one year.
Build A Kit: Do you have a basic disaster kit for your home, work, and car? Do you have one to take with you if you must evacuate? It’s a good idea to store items in airtight plastic bags and then put them in easy to carry plastic bins or bags. Consider any unique needs, such as food for pets, medications, and other items for those living in your home who may need to have access to medical equipment and other essential items. Also, consider adding items to your kit(s) to help prevent COVID-19 and other illnesses.
Low-Cost, No-Cost Preparedness: Is your renter’s insurance or homeowner’s insurance policy up to date? Find out if flood insurance is offered in your area, whether you own your own home or rent. Also, it’s a good idea to learn about the disasters that can happen in your area. In addition, it is a good idea to make copies of important financial documents. A good resource is the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit from FEMA. Learn more about being prepared financially at: https://www.ready.gov/financial-preparedness.
Youth Preparedness:Start by talking with your children about fire drills, both at school and home. Practice with them at home so they know what to do in case of a fire. Another great idea is to work as a family to create a family emergency kit and a plan. Visit www.ready.gov/kids for information. Preparedness is often taught in Scouting programs as well.
For more information on planning, visit Ready Campaign (www.ready.gov), The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services preparedness site (www.michigan.gov/michiganprepares), American Red Cross (www.redcross.org), and Central Michigan District Health Department (www.cmdhd.org).
This article has been brought to you by Central Michigan District Health Department, which serves the counties of Arenac, Clare, Gladwin, Isabella, Osceola, and Roscommon. Visit our website at www.cmdhd.org, LIKE Central Michigan District Health Department on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @CMiDHD.