September is preparedness month
This blog post was originally written for the Sentinel News in Shelby, Kentucky August 30, 2023.
As we watch the drama unfold in the wake of Hurricane Idalia, one can only wonder as to the state of those Florida residents, their families, and their homes. Practically at the dawn of National Preparedness Month, Idalia has brought the subject to the attention of Americans with her historic and devastating landfall along the western Florida coast.
Elsewhere, as autumn approaches, hurricanes are something that happens far away for most people and despite the rains and occasional storms that we may experience, the need to prepare for the effects of a hurricane is but a distant thought, but how important is disaster preparedness if you are NOT on the coast?
Most places in the United States have their fair share of disasters including tornadoes. As of August 28, we have had 1287 tornadoes since New Year’s Eve!
Spring and summer thunderstorms can bring high winds and hail while the winters have often brought us snow, ice, and freezing rain. In Texas we are battling wildfires that are causing families to suddenly evacuate and the same Is happening in California. On that note, California just experienced a hurricane that came right up and over San Diego!
Preparedness is important because it can help to save lives, reduce injuries, and mitigate property damage. By taking steps to prepare for a disaster, individuals, families, and the entire community can be better equipped to cope with the immediate aftermath of an event and to begin the recovery process sooner.
While a thunderstorm may only last but a few moments or an hour, a tornado can bring impacts that leave individuals, families, and businesses without power, water, and food for days. Places such as Kentucky and California are perched on earthquake faultlines so preparedness should always be a priority.
Disasters can be deadly, but by being prepared, you can increase your chances of survival. Having a plan in place and knowing what to do in the event of a disaster can help you make quick decisions and take actions that could save your life.
Because disasters can also cause injuries, you can take steps to reduce your risk of being injured. This includes having a first-aid kit on hand, knowing how to use it, and being familiar with the location of emergency medical services (EMS).
Don’t forget that disasters can cause extensive property damage, but by being prepared, you can take steps to mitigate your losses. This includes having insurance, securing your home, and storing important documents in a safe place.
We need to remember that the recovery process after a disaster can be long and difficult, but by being prepared, we can speed up the process. This includes having a plan in place for how you will communicate with family members and friends, how you will get food and water, and how you will find shelter.
As National Preparedness Month begins, consider creating a disaster plan both at home and for your business. This plan should include information on how you will communicate with family members, employees, and friends, how you will get food and water, and how you will find shelter. This plan should lead you to putting together a disaster kit.
Make sure you store and protect copies of your birth certificate, social security card, insurance policies, and other important documents.
Learn about the risks in that could impact your area and beyond. This will help you to make informed decisions about how to prepare for a disaster.
Get involved in your community. One great thing about community is that everyone is a friend and a neighbor. Getting involved in the community not only benefits you, but may just help someone else! Disaster preparedness is important for everyone. By taking steps to prepare, you can help protect yourself, your family, and your community in the event of a disaster.
Some thoughts from the Old Buzzard:
“Life is hectic for everyone and it is easy to forget about changing batteries in flashlights and checking on that disaster kit in the basement. The great thing about September is that the kids are going back to school and that should remind us that we could learn a few things too.”
“I would remind everyone that not all disasters are Mother Nature’s fault. Look at how many train derailments we have had this year that caused people to shelter-in-place or evacuate! It is crucial that we remember our plan needs to include leaving our homes.”
“Make sure you have your kids coordinate a tornado drill in your home. Most tornadoes occur after 4 o’clock in the afternoon and yet we leave the tornado drills up to the schools."
"Last week, my own home was damaged by a tornado and I was so glad we had practiced as a family for just such an event!”