In the wake of Super Storm Sandy, emergency preparedness is an apropos subject for this week’s blog. As hurricane season is not yet over and the threat of unforeseen natural disasters is always a possibility, it’s a subject that is relevant nation wide. Emergency planning has several components. It is important to familiarize yourself with emergency planning before a disaster strikes. The first thing to do is find out what the emergency procedures are for your local area. How will you be informed of an emergency? Are there sirens, will there be a message on the emergency broadcast system? Find out what the emergency plans are for your office, your child’s school, or day-care center. Unfortunately not all emergency situations can be predicted, so knowing how you, your partner, your children, and other loved ones are to be protected is vital information.
Establish a plan for your family. This will include how you will get in touch with each other and/or group together. It is a good idea to name an emergency contact outside the local area. Often long distance phone calls are easier to dial than local ones due to lines being destroyed, high volume, etc. This contact person can be a liaison and transmit information between you and your family and friends.
An emergency kit containing basic necessities as well as important phone numbers is the next step in planning. An emergency kit should contain non perishable food, water for drinking and washing, a first aid kit, a radio, and a flash light that can be hand-cranked to generate power, batteries, garbage bags, and phone numbers of your insurance companies, financial institutions, and documents copied or original of your vital statistics (birth certificate, passport).
If you have time to prepare, fill up any necessary prescriptions you or your family may need. Find out the emergency plan for pets; locate your evacuation shelter and be on the alert for any changes or warnings. As a Floridian I have been through many hurricanes and storms. Having a plan before a disaster strikes will help you immensely. Having your emergency kit well-stocked will save you valuable time and energy. Stores here often run out of water as soon as a storm warning is given. If you have several gallons already on hand, you will not be disappointed if your grocery store has run out.
To all of our fellow Americans who have been affected by Super Storm Sandy, my thoughts and prayers go out to you. I know how difficult it can be to have your life uprooted and face destruction. Help will prevail and your lives will return to normal. The rest of us spared the tragedy of a disaster can take this time to prepare for one. An excellent website for planning and reviewing your plan is www.ready.gov. This site is maintained by the government and is a useful resource when considering your emergency plan.
Being ready for the unpredictable is part of taking care of your well-being. Maintain your kit, keep up with your emergency contact and make preparations now. Again to our neighbors on the Atlantic coast, here is to a quick and safe recovery.
Social media correspondent and fitness professional