Emergency Preparedness – National Preparedness Month

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Since 2003, September is celebrated as National Preparedness Month. This September, it’s more important than ever to be prepared as disasters increase in size and frequency. Hurricanes Hilary and Idalia, as well as recent wildfires in Hawaii and on the west coast, remind us that disasters and emergencies can happen anywhere, at any time and that now is the time prepare.

Assess your Needs

An individual’s needs during a disaster aren’t always the same. It’s important to assess your needs and the needs of each of your family members so you can make a plan that works for you. Here are some questions you can use to assess your needs before you make a plan.

What are the natural hazards creating a risk for you? (e.g., floods, earthquakes, wildfires, extreme heat, or hurricanes) 

  • How will you receive emergency warnings and alerts?
  • Do you have access to transportation if you need to evacuate? 
  • Do you have enough supplies if you are without power for several days?
  • Are there others under your care that need to be considered in your planning? 

Make a Plan

Once you’ve assessed your needs, it’s time to make sure you have a plan in place that addresses those needs. Your plan should include the following:

  • An emergency kit. The kit should include items that address your needs. In addition to basics like food and water, this kit can include prescription medicine, a backup power source for medical equipment, a battery-powered radio, supplies for a service animal, games or other activities for children, and important family documents. 
  • Emergency meeting locations. Your family may not be together during a disaster, so plan to meet at a specific location. Have plans for how to get there. 
  • Contact information. Keep a contact list of those who can help you in a disaster. Store it in a watertight container in your emergency kit and on your electronic devices.

Tigard CERT Inc. is a local non-profit organization allied with the City of Tigard that trains volunteers in basic emergency response and organizational skills following the Federal Emergency Management Agency model and guidelines for local Community Emergency Response Teams. For more information about Tigard CERT, please visit our website at tigardcert.wordpress.com.

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