September marks National Preparedness Month, a timely reminder to ensure readiness for unforeseen disasters or emergencies in homes, neighborhoods, and workplaces. The motto “Be Prepared,” often associated with scouting, resonates strongly during this month, encouraging everyone to anticipate and plan for potential crises. Understanding the hazards specific to your community is an essential first step in enhancing emergency readiness.
South Jordan City’s Emergency Manager, Aaron Sainsbury, emphasizes the importance of preparedness for all hazards. He has compiled a list of potential situations to equip individuals and families with the tools they need to navigate emergencies effectively.
Hazards can be categorized as natural occurrences or human-induced events. South Jordan City faces a range of hazards, including natural ones like floods, earthquakes, wildfires, droughts, and severe weather, as well as human-caused hazards like hazardous material incidents, power outages, and even acts of terrorism.
Preparedness for Families
Here are some steps to ensure your family’s readiness:
- Stock Up: Gather a four-day supply of essential items, including food, water, clothing, medical supplies, and provisions for pets.
- Family Reunion Plan: Establish a meeting point and procedure for reuniting family members if separated during an emergency.
- Out-of-Area Contact: Choose a person outside the immediate area as a point of contact, considering that long-distance communication might be restored sooner.
- School Policies: Familiarize yourself with school or daycare policies and arrange for someone to pick up your children if you can’t.
- Language Barriers: If anyone in your family doesn’t speak English, create an emergency card with essential information in English for identification and special needs.
- Regular Drills: Conduct emergency drills with your family every six months.
- Room Safety: Identify the safest areas in each room for shelter during an emergency.
- Utility Knowledge: Learn how to shut off water, gas, and electricity; also, store vital utility contacts.
- Important Documents: Keep copies of vital records in a safe deposit box elsewhere.
- Valuables Documentation: Photo-graph or video your valuable possessions and store copies elsewhere.
- Exit Strategies: Map out multiple exit routes from your house and keep them clear.
- Inclusive Planning: Include house-hold help like babysitters in your emergency plans.
- Essential Supplies: Maintain extra eyeglasses, keys, and medication.
- Cash Reserve: Keep extra cash on hand for situations when ATMs are inaccessible.
- Earthquake Preparedness: Prepare for earthquakes with supplies to last at least 96 hours.
Amid a disaster, remember to stay away from heavy objects and focus on safe spaces. Be mindful of danger-prone areas like kitchens and garages. While emergency response teams might be stretched, your proactive measures can ensure your safety and that of your loved ones.
National Preparedness Month serves as a yearly call to action, reminding us all that readiness is the key to minimizing the impact of emergencies. By taking the necessary precautions and implementing preparedness plans, we can face challenges head-on and protect our families and communities.
Visit Be Ready Utah for more information.