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Emergencies Happen! Be Informed, Alert, and Prepared
September 18, 2014
When disaster strikes communities in America, whether natural or man-made, we all feel the impact. Concern for safety, health and property weigh on our minds. How can anyone prepare for the possibility of these different hazards? Taking practical, proven steps now will help you to be ready, even when emergencies happen beyond your control.
September 10th marks the historical height of hurricane season in Florida. With this in mind, residents and visitors should take note that September is National Preparedness Month.
Agencies and organizations across the nation are participating in this month-long awareness campaign, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC is highlighting topics during each week in September.
- Week 1—Children…How kids can help and be helped in an emergency.
- Week 2—Special Medical Needs…How to plan for health conditions or disabilities with caregivers before a Disaster.
- Week 3—Older Adults… Review the needs and possible limitations of adult family members.
- Week 4—Pet Preparedness for Pet Owners…Don’t forget to plan for care and needs of animals.
Life in Florida can be unpredictable. Incidents and events such as severe weather, public health threats or man-made disasters are possible at almost any time throughout the year. Fortunately, it’s never too late to build an emergency plan, supply kit or connect with family, friends and neighbors on how you can help one another before, during and after an emergency. Remember, it’s likely you will need to sustain yourself and your family for the first 72 hours of an emergency before assistance will be available.
There are many resources available when putting together an emergency supply kit or a family plan. Online tools and smart phone apps also provide the newest and most helpful ways to stay connected with family, friends and employees. For information and tips on planning, evacuations, shelters and maintaining good health during an emergency, the 2014 Florida Emergency Preparedness Guide is available on the Department’s homepage at www.floridahealth.gov, in English, Spanish, Creole and Large Print. To check out the Department’s top ten ways to stay informed during an emergency visit http://newsroom.doh.state.fl.us/2014/06/02/10-ways-to-stay-informed-your-guide-to-emergency-preparedness-information/.
The Florida Division of Emergency Management provides online tools for building an emergency plan for families and businesses at http://flgetaplan.com/.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s mobile app is available for phones and tablets, and offers disaster safety tips, an interactive emergency kit list, storable emergency meeting locations and a map with open shelters at www.fema.gov/mobile-app.
The American Red Cross provides free mobile apps at http://www.redcross.org/prepare/mobile-apps and also hosts Safe and Well, a website for sharing status with family and friends at http://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php.
Taking proactive steps toward preparedness can help keep families healthy and safe, and protect homes and businesses when emergencies strike. Let September mark a renewed sense of commitment to personal preparedness, for ourselves and our communities.