September is Emergency Preparedness Month
Chief Edward N. Richards would like to provide Enfield residents with a number of tips on preparing for various emergency situations during National Preparedness Month.
National Emergency Preparedness Month is meant to promote family and community disaster planning throughout the year. The theme for this year’s national campaign is “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plans Today.”
“Every year, the Department of Homeland Security recognizes September as National Emergency Preparedness Month to promote disaster planning,” Chief Richards said. “We would like to take time during this month to encourage our residents to be proactive when it comes to emergency situations, not reactive. Having a plan, kit and knowing what to do in an emergency situation could be life saving.”
When creating family emergency plans and kits, residents should take into consideration the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Residents should add items such as face coverings/masks, disinfectants, hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies to their emergency kits. Residents should also identify emergency contacts who aren’t immunocompromised and meeting locations where families can maintain adequate physical distance from one another.
In order to ensure preparedness and safety for all, Enfield Fire District 1 encourages residents to follow these tips provided by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS):
Make a Plan
Prior to an emergency, families should create an emergency plan for during and after a disaster. Ready.gov recommends the following:
- Develop a family emergency plan by establishing meeting locations, creating an emergency contact plan, planning how to evacuate and learning how to shelter in place. Residents should also update their emergency plans in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Practice your plan with your entire family, and make sure the plan accounts for individuals who have access needs, seniors, children and pets.
- Develop a shelter in place plan and plan your evacuation route. Learn the types of disasters that are likely in your community and the local emergency, evacuation and shelter plans for each specific disaster.
- Create a family communication plan that includes contact information for your family and important contacts such as doctors or service providers. Share the plan with everyone and your family.
Build a Kit
Ready.gov recommends that emergency kits include essential items that will provide your family members with basic necessities for up to three days in an emergency event. Essential items to include in a kit are:
- At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food and one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
- Tools and supplies such as a battery-powered or hand crank radio, flashlight, extra batteries, manual can opener and wrench or pliers
- Documents such as insurance policies, bank account records, identification cards (IDs), medical information and other copies of important documents
- Personal items including prescription medications (two-week supply), personal hygiene items, eyeglasses, contact lenses, dentures, extra batteries or supplies for medical equipment, change of clothes and sturdy shoes
- Other Items such as first-aid kit, emergency whistle, waterproof matches/lighter, local area maps, sleeping bags or blankets, and comfort items such as books or games
Prepare for Disasters
To prepare for a disaster, Ready.gov provides the following tips:
- Know what disasters and hazards could affect your area, how to get emergency alerts and where you would go if you and your family would need to evacuate.
- Enable Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) sent through the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) to receive alerts from state and local public safety officials, the National Weather Service, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the President of the United States.
- Visit NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) to receive broadcasts of official warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Hurricanes can cause damage from strong winds, flooding and storm surges. The Atlantic hurricane season is from June 1 to Nov. 30.
Teach Youth About Preparedness
To get your children involved and teach them about emergency preparedness, Ready.gov recommends the following:
- Talk to your kids about how to prepare for emergencies and make sure they understand your family plan. Allow them to be involved in making your family plan and provide them with information about disasters to reduce stress.
- Encourage your teen to get involved in a youth preparedness program such as the Youth Preparedness Council or Teen Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
- To learn more about youth preparedness, check out additional Ready Kids resources.
For more information about National Preparedness Month, visit Ready.gov.