Americans urged to be prepared for emergencies, disasters
For Americans, emergency preparedness must now account for man-made disasters, as well as natural ones.
Knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.
Emergencies can range from inconvenient to devastating. However, individuals can take some simple preparedness steps in advance of an emergency to minimize its impact on themselves and their families.
Family and community preparedness planning can enhance community readiness and reduce the impact of disaster by expediting recovery in the aftermath of unpreventable catastrophes.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's "Ready" campaign focuses on the following important preparedness steps that can assist families with creating emergency plans and preparing for a wide range of natural and man-made disasters, which could impact them and their communities:
• Get an emergency supply kit. When preparing for a possible emergency situation, it's best to think first about the basics of survival: fresh water, food, clean air and warmth. The website www.ready.gov provides a list of recommended items to include in a basic emergency supply kit.
• Make a family emergency plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan in advance for how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in different situations.
• Be informed. There are important differences among potential emergencies that will impact the decisions you make and the actions you take. Learn more about potential emergencies that could happen where you live and the appropriate way to respond to them.
In addition, learn about emergency plans that have been established in your area by state and local governments.
• Get involved. Organizations, families and individuals should take time to explore the many ways they can all contribute to creating more prepared and resilient communities.
• Ready Kids. Teach children how to be informed, prepared, plan for and react in emergency situations with tips and tools provided on the Ready website.
Visit www.ready.gov for more information on emergency preparations.
Press release from U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Emergency Management