Emergency Preparedness Month Tips 2018
September is Emergency Preparedness Month
The preparedness theme for 2018 is “Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.”
Disasters happen every day, and this past summer was no exception. Maryland saw record rainfall, with Ellicott City surviving devastating flash floods, once again. While Bowie escaped major damage, winter is coming. Although we do not know what is going to happen, as a community we can prepare for whatever Mother Nature cooks up. We can all help first responders in our community by learning how to respond during an emergency and what to do when disaster strikes – where we live, work, and visit. With a little planning and forethought, disastrous effects can often be minimized.
Each week there will be a different theme, focused on simple, yet important steps to help keep you and your loved ones safe during a disaster.
Week 1 (September 1-8): Make and Practice Your PlanMake a Family Emergency Plan
- Sign up for alerts and warnings, such as Alert Bowie 2.0 (Link to www.cityofbowie/alerts)
- Practice your fire escape plan by holding a home fire drill at least twice a year with everyone in the home Practice two ways out of every room
- Have an evacuation and shelter plan. Plan to be self-sufficient for 72 hours during an evacuation and for two weeks while sheltering at home
- Practice evacuating in the car with your animals, so they’re more comfortable if you need to evacuate in an emergency
- Download a group texting app so your entire crew can keep in touch before, during and after an emergency
Week 2 (September 9-15): Learn Life Saving Skills
- On September 15, National Day of Action, take a class, join a preparedness event or volunteer with a local disaster response or recovery agency
- Learn skills you need to help yourself and others until help arrives. One option is to take Until Help Arrives Training classes
- Eliminate common electrical and fire hazards around your home and property
- Learn how to perform Hands-Only CPR and how to use an AED to prepare for a health emergency
Week Three (September 16-22): Check your Insurance Coverage
- Homeowners and renters insurance can save residents the thousands of dollars it takes to replaced damaged belongings. Renters insurance covers belongings not only in your home, but in your vehicle and while traveling.
- Review existing policies for the amount and extent of coverage to ensure that what you have in place is what is required for you and your family for all possible hazards
- Homeowners insurance does not typically cover flooding, so you may need to purchase flood insurance
Week Four (September 23-29): Save For an Emergency
- Complete an Emergency Financial First Aid Kit
- You will have expenses like lodging, food and gas after a disaster, and electronic banking including ATM’s may not be available
- Plan financially for the possibility of disaster and maintain emergency savings for use in case of a disaster