For 225 years, Coast Guard men and women have lived by the motto Semper Paratus.
Being Semper Paratus, Always Ready, however, does not come without careful and diligent preparation.
September is National Preparedness Month, and this year’s theme is “Don’t wait. Communicate. Make your emergency plan today.”
Disasters and emergencies can happen at any time, in any location, to anyone. Don’t know where to get started? Use these three tips to kick-start your preparation and planning to ensure you and your loved ones, including your pets, stay safe when disasters or emergencies happen.
1) Do your research
Know what kinds of disasters and emergencies can happen where you live. Do you live along the Gulf Coast? Make a plan for hurricanes and communicate that plan with your loved ones. Do you live in the dry areas of northern California? Make a plan that covers you for wildfires. No matter where you live, emergencies can strike at any time. Power outages are just one example of a sudden, unexpected emergency that each household should have a plan for. Need tips on how to get started creating an emergency plan for each of these situations? Visit the Ready Campaign and get started today!
2) Make a plan and build a kit
After you’ve done your research, make a plan that covers you, your loved ones and your pets in case of any emergency that may arise. Ready.gov has already made it pretty easy – they have a family communication plan (for kids and parents) that you can fill out and send to your loved ones. You should also think outside the box – know about the emergency plans where your family spends the majority of their time. Check with schools, work places, daycare and other locations to see what their emergency plan is should something unexpected happen. Now that you have your plan, build a kit for disasters and emergencies. These kits should contain a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. Make sure these kits are assembled and organized in advance – you never know how much time you’ll have when disaster strikes.
Just like making sure a float plan is filed before leaving the dock, a plan can only help if you ensure it’s well communicated to those around you. Make sure each member of your family knows where their emergency kit is and how to access it. Effective communication before, during and after an emergency or disaster can make all the difference.
Take the pledge to ensure you and your loved ones are prepared by joining in on National Preparedness Month. It could make all the difference.