September is National Preparedness Month. It’s a great time to evaluate your own level of preparedness and see what preparedness plans and services your city or county has.
How are you going to celebrate National Preparedness Month? Here are some ideas:
- Find out about Preparedness plans in your area. Every community should have an Emergency Response Plan. Do you know what it is? Do you know what services your community provides for dealing with emergencies? For those of us living in the Red River Valley, Cass County has some excellent Disaster Readiness materials.
- Get CERT trained. I encourage everyone to learn about CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) and take CERT training. This is a nationwide program that trains people in how to respond to local emergencies and qualifies them to be effective volunteers in the case of a local emergency. The training can be something simple like CPR or First Aid, or it can be more detailed, such as flood response and clean up.
- Help your friends get CERT trained. You can organize CERT training for your group: church, club, block watch, Scout troop, etc. It is usually done in two 4-hour sessions, but CERT trainers will work with your group to accommodate your group’s needs and abilities. I really encourage you to get CERT-trained: either sign up for classes or start one yourself for you and your group.
- Take CPR or First Aid classes. OK, so CERT training is a little too much for you. So start small. The Red Cross offers all sorts of classes in First Aid, CPR, Lifesaving and more. This page will help you find a class in your area.
- Have drills or mock disasters. This is a good time to practice fire safety and drills for your family or drills for flood or tornado response in your neighborhood. Does your church, employer or school have an emergency response plan? Encourage them to have drills to practice their emergency response.
- Use your Emergency kits. Test out the tents, first aid and food in your 72-hour emergency kits. Don’t worry, one of the PHC goals for October is to add to or update your 72-hour emergency kit. Use it now and then next mont you’ll know what’s needed and what needs to be updated. Join with your friends and have an Emergency Food Cook-off. Who can make the tastiest meals using only the food in their emergency kits?
- Connect with others. There are preparedness activities going on all around the country. FEMA will link you to other Preparedness events going on in your community.
Share the happiness! Celebrate National Preparedness Month by getting you, your family and your neighbors prepared.