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National Preparedness Month: Why Prepare?

This is the first in our Emergency Management series during National Preparedness Month.

More than 82% of U.S. residents are aware that emergency preparedness is important to handle disasters*. Yet of these, most have made little, if any, actual preparations! What about you? Are you ready?
If a disaster occurs in your community, local government and disaster relief organizations will try to help you. But you need to be ready as well. Local responders may not be able to reach you immediately or they may need to focus their efforts elsewhere. You should know how to respond to severe weather or any disaster that could occur in your area, including earthquakes, wildfires, landslides, pandemic, flooding, terrorism and more. You should also be ready to be self-sufficient for three to seven days.

Before an Emergency:
• Know the risks and danger signs of potential emergencies.
• Purchase insurance, including earthquake and/or flood insurance (not part of your homeowner’s policy).
• Develop plans or what you and your family should do in case of emergency.
• Assemble an emergency kit with supplies for every member of your household, including pets.
• Volunteer to help others in your community as you are able.

During an Emergency:
• Put you emergency plan into action.
• Help others as you are able.
• Follow the advice and guidance of officials in charge of the event.

After an Emergency:
• Repair damaged property.
• File insurance claims if necessary.
• Take steps to prevent or reduce future loss.
• Reassess your emergency plan and make appropriate changes.