4 Ways To Be “Prepared, not Scared” for an Emergency


Are you and your family prepared for a disaster? In New Jersey, we don’t often get pounded by a hurricane’s direct hit. But remember tropical storm Irene in 2011 and hurricane Sandy in 2012? These powerful storms caused 37 deaths in total and left our state devastated by wind and water damage, with extended power outages for millions.

But hurricanes aren’t the only disasters that may hit your home or workplace. Natural disasters also include tornadoes, floods, wildfires and nor’easters. A man-made disaster such as a terrorist attack, hazardous materials accident or explosion can happen at any time. All types of disasters can cause injuries, fatalities and catastrophic property damage.

Preparation is the key to surviving a natural or man-made disaster. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has identified September as National Preparedness Month. This year’s theme is “Prepared, not scared.”

Here are 4 ways to be “Prepared, not scared” for a serious emergency:

1.    Review your financial status now. Are you in a flood-prone area and do you have flood insurance? Read up on the National Flood Insurance program. Do you have enough insurance overall for all hazards? Keep some emergency cash at home in case of a power outage with non-working ATMs. Learn more about financial preparedness at Ready.gov and download the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit.

2.    Create an emergency plan. Your plan should have action steps for shelter, evacuation, emergency warnings and alerts and family communications. Be sure to prepare for any special requirements for the aged, medications, languages, pets, children in school or anyone with special needs. Here is a good template for an emergency plan.

3.    Involve the kids. What if your children are not at home when a disaster hits? How will you communicate with them? Involving children in readying for a disaster can help them connect with you, their communities and first responders as well as helping them feel more ready at school. Explore this website together to help your child prepare.

4.    Help within your community. Find out who the helpers are in your community and share with your family. Volunteer to help with disaster medical operations, light search and rescue and fire safety. Learn about your community resources here.

More Resources

Ready.gov has games, checklists, newsletters and a wealth of helpful links for emergency preparation. Be “Prepared, not scared” by starting today!

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