national preparedness month

With September dubbed National Preparedness Month, the Elmore County Commission is sharing tips with the public to help everyone prepare before a disaster strikes.

With this year’s theme being “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today,” the commission has been providing weekly tips to residents on how to prepare via its blog.

These tips have been provided by Ready, a national public service campaign designed to educate and empower the American people to prepare for, respond to and mitigate emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters.

One of the most important tips is to make a plan. Residents are advised to talk to their friends and family about how communication will take place before, during, and after a disaster. Make sure plans are updated based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations amid COVID-19.

Secondly, build an emergency kit. Gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in the home. The unique needs each person or pet should be considered in case a quick evacuation is necessary.

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

• Water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation)

• Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)

• Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert

• Flashlight

• First-aid kit

• Extra batteries

• Whistle (to signal for help)

• Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)

• Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place) 

• Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)

• Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities

• Manual can opener

• Local maps

• Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

To lessen the impact of a disaster, residents should know what types of disasters are high-risk in their area and check their insurance coverage to make sure its covered. Learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms and other common hazards and act fast if you receive a local warning or alert.

Lastly, parents should talk to their children about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case they are separated. Provide reassurance by letting them get involved in the preparation process.

For more tips on how to prepare go to Ready.gov.