September marks the observance of National Preparedness Month, a time when individuals are encouraged to make safety plans and preparations in case of emergencies, such as natural disasters, for the protection of themselves and family members.
With the atypical weather conditions experienced throughout different parts of the country this year especially, like the harsh winter months and peculiar storms, it is important to have emergency plans in place to prepare for such conditions. Discussing strategies with your family members or neighbors can help to increase cohesiveness and coordination when planning for emergency situations. Individuals with disabilities should develop strategies that will accommodate personal needs in case of an emergency as well, including how to move within the household if the power were to go out and safe exit strategies if you need to evacuate the home.
Websites like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and ready.gov provide information and materials for individuals to make plans and build safety kits for emergency preparedness. Here are some additional tips to consider when creating emergency plans:
- Develop a plan that is accommodating for everyone’s needs in the household. If someone has a disability, try to consider and incorporate those needs into emergency plans and evacuation strategies.
- Ensure all household members are aware of the plans and what their role is in implementing them.
- Stay informed about emergency preparedness by checking media and news sources often.
Increasing awareness of how to protect yourself and the ones you care for in an emergency can aid in making thoughtful and careful decisions in unexpected situations. Take this time to learn more about National Preparedness Month and educate others as well!