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Realistic Preparedness

From Dan Stoneking, writing for Homeland Security Today…

Build a kit.  Have a plan.  Get flood insurance.  All the things we are told to prepare for an emergency can feel quite daunting.  They are smart ideas, for sure.  But money, time, and competing priorities can be imposing obstacles. 

In June 2012 my home joined a million other neighbors in Virginia when we lost power due to the North American derecho that quickly caused deaths, damage, and power outages across several states.  I did not have an organized kit or a written plan.  But I did have a wife, two daughters under the age of two, and a puppy.  We were also facing a heat wave.  As soon as we lost power, I knew I had to get my babies someplace safer and with power.  I grabbed a few flashlights (because I had them with working batteries) and my wife and I packed to leave.  We got in our car (that was full of gas) and went to a nearby hotel (because I had savings and a credit card).  I texted my boss where I was going and about my availability (because the phone was charged, and I knew to text in case phone systems were clogged).  We rode out the rest of the storm safely. 

In the following weeks it occurred to me that I actually did have a kit and a plan.  I just never thought about it before in those structured terms.  I also realized that there are simple and realistic things we can all do to be better prepared.  And today, there are more realistic options than ever before.  Even with money, time, and other priorities, most of these ideas take only seconds or minutes, and cost little to nothing.  They are realistic ways that each of us can be more prepared. 

Free Apps 

I am a huge fan of the FEMA App.  In full disclosure, I used to work for FEMA, but that is not why I like it so much.  In fact, I no longer work for FEMA, but it remains an app on my phone.  It is free and available for both iPhones and Androids.    

My favorite section is the ability to sign up for alert messages for multiple locations.  It only takes a second to enter the zip codes and the alerts you want.  As a result, not only can I protect the family in my home, but I can also warn relatives in New Hampshire, Virginia, and Florida if a hazard is coming their way.   It came in handy when I was able to warn my brother in Aug 2018 of a tornado near his home in Charlottesville, Va.   

For the rest, click here.

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By | May 19, 2024 | Accidents and Threats

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