Readiness is one of the most important goals that all branches of the military work for. Our military needs to be ready to fight, ready to deploy, ready at a moment’s notice to respond to a disaster around the world, or right here in America.
But as a family, are you prepared for an emergency or natural disaster that could happen right outside your door?
Many large military bases are in states that regularly endure powerful hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards or other potentially destructive weather. But even military families who are stationed in relatively mild climates need to know what to do in the event of an emergency. Hurricane Irene traveled as far north as New York City and Boston this year, and it wasn’t as powerful as many other storms can get!
Families need to have a plan, they need to have supplies, they need to be well-educated about their own home and the kind of emergency they’re dealing with. In short, they need to be ready. Is your family ready?
Here are five tips to make sure you’ll be safe and secure in the event of a disaster:
1. Prepare an Emergency Readiness Kit. These are absolutely vital to your family’s health and safety in theevent of a natural disaster. Be sure you’ve got three days worth of batteries, a flashlight, a small radio and other things you might need. A full list of recommended items for an emergency kit can be found here.
2. Put away a small stash of cash – about $100 – in fives and ones, so that if you need to pay street vendors or neighbors for supplies, you won’t have to worry about making change.
3. Make sure you’ve got three days’ worth of dry goods, canned food and other nonperishable provisions. Items like dried fruit and jerky can help break the monotony of canned food if it becomes necessary. Don’t forget the bottled water.
4. Back up the hard drive on your computer to an external drive, and put it somewhere safe – preferably in a safe! This will make sure that if your computer falls victim to whatever emergency or natural disaster is at hand, you’ll be able to access your files and documents later.
5. Talk with your family! The most important thing you can do is sit down, especially with the children, and talk to them about what you’ll do – and won’t do – in the event of an emergency. Don’t wait until you’re in the middle of an earthquake to improvise a strategy – lay out a flexible plan well in advance. Remember that you won’t be able to stick to your plan one hundred percent. The best laid plans in peaceful times often go awry; we make plans for disasters and Fate laughs at us. But you’ll be better prepared.
It’s important to do these things now; it’s not a matter of if, but when, another powerful storm like Hurricane Katrina hits a military community. Get ahead of it, and be sure your family is ready.
Do you have any good tips for emergency preparedness? What is your family doing (or better yet, what has it done already) to prepare for a natural disaster? I’m looking forward to reading your comments.