In many ways, September is a month of preparation:
- Plenty of kids (and their ecstatic parents) prepare for the first day of school
- Fans across the country prepare for weekends full of college and professional football
- Farmers prepare for the fall harvest
- Gardeners prepare their flowers for the cold
Odds are, even if you’re a childless, city-dweller with a brown thumb and an indifference toward games played on an 100-yard field, you’re preparing for something this month — be it a new job, a vacation, a new pet, something.
But have you considered the most important preparations you could make — the ones that could potentially save your life. September is National Preparedness Month – dedicated to reminding everyone that it’s important to be informed, have a plan and a kit.
Disasters can happen anywhere, even in places where the residents say they’ll never occur. FEMA’s preparedness website, Ready.gov, has a great interactive site demonstrating how important it is for everyone to prepare for tomorrow because you don’t know what could happen. Tornadoes, extreme winter storms, flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, and mudslides — all are natural disasters and at least one has affected every U.S. state and territory in the last 40 years.
If tomorrow is unpredictable, what can you do right now? In a word: plan. Make one, share it with your loved ones, update it when necessary. According to FEMA, that involves three considerations.
- Plan for your risks. If you live in Minnesota, a hurricane isn’t something you need to worry about. But fires, floods, winter storms, and tornadoes are. Know what could affect your home and how your local government will alert you in the event of a disaster.
- Plan to protect your loved ones. This will vary depending on your family size, age, and living situation. Make sure you’ve considered accommodations for the elderly and any pets. A Family Emergency Plan is a good place to start to make sure everyone has all the vital information they’ll need.
- Plan for locations. Since most families don’t spend every waking minute with each other at home, you’ll also need to make sure that you know what the disaster plans are in your office, at school or even at your place of worship. Make sure if you are all separated when disaster strikes that there’s a plan for a safe meeting place or contact person.
Having a plan is just a start, but it will put you closer to being ready for tomorrow, whatever it may bring. And if while you’re planning, you want to review your insurance coverage, contact a Foremost Agency in your area.