September is National Preparedness Month

We’ve just gone through Irene and Katia is churning in the Atlantic.  September is National Preparedness Month and the Federal Emergency Management Agency is reminding Americans to prepare their families, businesses and homes for emergencies of any kind.

Deputy Administrator Tim Manning says you need to know what your risks are, and have an emergency kit and a family plan ready for them. For example, most of the danger in a hurricane comes from flooding, not from the winds.  Once a storm passes, the danger is not over. He says you must understand what you need to do to protect yourself and family.  You have to be able to weather those few days while emergency workers are focused on rescue missions.

Manning says it’s also important to have multiple ways for family members to communicate. You can learn more about doing risk assessment and developing a plan at  Manning says his family also has at least three different locations they’ll evacuate to, or meet at, depending on road conditions.

Manning says community members can help each other, if they’re prepared. After Hurricane Irene, his community came together and cleared downed trees, getting roads reopened just a few hours after the storm blew through. Manning says that’s an important point about disaster resilience; having individuals with plans  to weather the disaster enables the community to come together and help each other.