The Federal Emergency Management Agency wants everyone to make a resolution to be better prepared in 2012. Administrator Craig Fugate says if you do nothing else, visit ready.gov and book mark the page.
Fugate says the first step for preparedness is to develop a family communication plan. He says in an emergency, cell phone systems can be overloaded and texting or posting to a social network site may be the better way to keep in touch. He says that also cuts congestion on the cell network to allow emergency calls to get through.
Emergencies can strike with little warning, and unexpected situations can develop within an emergency. Fugate says you need to know what you’d do if you had to shelter in place, or evacuate in a moment’s notice.
Fugate says as we saw in Pennsylvania, the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee came up and caused flooding in places that had been spared by Hurricane Irene. He doesn’t think people were necessarily expecting that. He says even with a good forecast, we don’t always know what’s going to happen.
Fugate says emergency plans should include your pets and anyone in your household with special needs in addition to basic needs.
Fugate says if you have a plan, you can secure your family in an emergency then reach out to your neighbors. He says he has seen in time and time again. Across the southeast during the tornadoes, and during the tropical season all the way up to Vermont, a lot of the help people got came from their neighbors. He says their neighborhoods were digging them out debris, giving first aid or providing comfort until emergency responders could arrive.