September is National Preparedness Month in New York City and across the nation. It is important to prepare for the next emergency ― whether it is a hurricane, tornado, fire, heat wave, or terrorist attack. Make the commitment this month to get ahead of the next emergency. National Preparedness Month is a good time to re-evaluate your emergency plan and talk to your children and family about this plan.
The fundamentals of any emergency plan include identifying someone to call, picking somewhere to meet, and deciding what to pack. You should also consider the needs of seniors or family members with disabilities who may need extra assistance during unexpected events.
Get started by picking an out-of-area contact that family or friends can call if separated during an emergency. If local phone lines are busy, long-distance calls may be easier to make. It’s also important to know where to meet your family or friends after an emergency. Pick two places to meet: one near your home and another outside your neighborhood.
Another important step is assembling a Go Bag. A Go Bag is a collection of items you may need during an evacuation. Every household member should have a Go Bag, including children and pets, and it should be sturdy and easy to carry (like a backpack). Even if you’re not evacuating, it is always important to have an emergency supply kit at home. A kit should have enough supplies for up to seven days.
Finally, make sure your entire family is aware of your emergency plan. Being prepared for any emergency is as simple as sitting down with your family and walking through the plan step by step. By involving the whole family in emergency preparedness, you can lessen the chance of confusion in moments following an emergency. Kids, too, can find a role in the family preparedness plan: assign roles like gathering up leashes for the dogs or assembling battery-operated flashlights.
Visit NYC.gov/readyny or call 311 for information about how to create an emergency plan.
On the 13th anniversary of National Preparedness Month, it’s important that preparedness is a shared responsibility. Taking the time to develop a plan can help you prepare for all types of emergencies. Emergencies are unpredictable, but planning can ensure you and your loved ones stay safe.