Do we, as citizens of this fine community, have a duty to one another to prepare for a disaster? Disaster preparedness is without a doubt a discussion every family should have. With a little effort and pre-planning you and your family will be in a better position should you find yourself in the midst of a catastrophic event. Your goal as a family should be to make preparedness a part of your everyday life – not a singular event after your life has been thrown off course.
First and foremost, I cannot stress enough the importance of being aware of your surroundings. Understand what normal activity looks like in your neighborhood, church, and your workplace. When you see something outside of the norm – report it. Be vigilant! Additionally, if you hear or know someone talking about hurting citizens or braging about being affiliated with terrorist organizations – don't delay, report it – be anonymous if you must. Several incidents have been averted because proactive citizens took action and reported what they heard.
Proactively protecting yourself and your family doesn't stop with being alert. There are a lot of simple things you can do to further prepare your family in a disaster. Having an up-to-date list of important telephone numbers, contact information for family members, and even a neighborhood directory would be helpful information that you could provide to first responders – assuming they are able to get to you.
Lastly, an emergency preparedness kit is critical in time of chaos. Some basic items that this kit should contain are three to five days of water (one gallon per day per person – don't forget your pets if you have them). Food that will not spoil and preferably does not require cooking, a supply of needed medicine (you should consult your pharmacist to obtain storage information), batteries, battery powered radios, phones and flashlights, and don't forget personal items like toilet paper and plastic trash bags. This list is not intended to be all inclusive – it is intended to be the start of a discussion for you and your family.
Until next month, stay safe!