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Will You Be Prepared?

November 5, 2012

A farm near Amherst, Massachusetts after the Great Hurricane of 1938

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy and with winter fast approaching, it’s important to remember that natural disasters can occur anywhere, at any time. With advances in technology, storm and natural disaster predictions have become amazingly precise and it’s easier than ever to get the word out about impending events. However, the fundamentals of disaster preparedness have changed little over the years.

  • Identify potential risks at home, work, and school and address them before a disaster hits.
  • Always keep a three day supply of fresh water. One gallon per person and pet per day, and remember to change out your water supply every six months.
  • Keep nonperishable foods that don’t require a lot of water or heat to cook.
  • Prepare an emergency supply kit.
  • Put all important documents, backup disks, and thumb drives together in a place that is easily accessible.
  • Create a communication plan to keep in touch in the event of an emergency and make sure all family members know what it is.
  • Make accommodations for any elderly or special needs family members. If possible, have a stockpile of any medications needed.
  • Know your local evacuation routes.
  • Review your disaster plans with your family twice a year.

During the Great Hurricane of 1938, the Northeast suffered record losses, in part because no one thought the Northeast was susceptible to such a powerful storm. We now understand that any area can be affected by a natural disaster. We can’t always bet on it happening to someone else.

For the first time in history we have an almost infinite amount of information available to us at our fingertips. We no longer have an excuse for being caught unprepared. Disaster preparedness is not only about protecting you and your family, but about keeping us all safe; from first responders, to neighbors in need, to the family pet. Together, we can make sure that the human cost of natural disasters continues to decline.

For more information on disaster preparedness, go to Read more about emergency preparedness and safety.

Article by: April LaRita Green

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