Collierville Fire & Rescue
September is National Preparedness Month. The purpose is to place focus on emergency preparedness for individuals, families, schools, businesses and communities. While most of us would agree this is a worthy endeavor, very few people actually take proactive, concrete steps to prepare themselves and their loved ones.
This is certainly understandable considering how busy everyone is today and the lack of discretionary time. Fueling the resistance to prepare is the mindset, “I know emergencies can happen, but nothing has happened to me.” The purpose of National Preparedness Month is to remind people to think ahead of an emergency. Nobody wakes up thinking something bad is going to happen, but being prepared before an emergency happens will go a long way toward positive outcomes.
There have been a number of emergencies within our own county over the last year which has pointed out the need for preparedness. Residential and commercial fires, school security lock downs, flooding, gas leaks, and utility outages to name just a few.
You can join the effort by following four steps…
Make a Plan
- Talk about what could happen and what you'll do if it does.
If a major countywide emergency ever occurs, it is unlikely that emergency response services can immediately respond to everyone’s needs. That’s why it’s so important to be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for at least the first 72 hours
Build a Kit
- Store enough supplies to last for at least three days.
When a major emergency strikes, life’s everyday conveniences…running water, refrigeration, telephones, heat and air conditioning…can suddenly be knocked out and unavailable for days or even weeks. Give yourself some peace of mind; build your family’s emergency kit today.
Pack a “Go” Bag
- Be ready to evacuate your home quickly with a pre-packed bag.
While gathering your emergency kit, pack a go-bag for each family member. These are your personal emergency bags you grab, when say, the fireman or police officer knocks on your door and tells you to evacuate immediately. These bags should include items like lifesaving prescriptions, food, water and extra clothing to get you through the first few critical days.
Find a Safe Place
- Know where to go when severe weather or a natural disaster strikes.
Determining your family’s “safe places” could be the key to saving lives during an emergency. This must be done ahead of time, with input from all family members. Practice getting to your designated safe place quickly.
Planning for these types of events and the aftermath will increase your ability to survive and recover from an emergency. The positive domino effect will be your ability to help others by eliminating the need to be helped. There are many information sources and no one right way to prepare, so find what works for your situation and take action. If you are unsure about how or where to start, Collierville Fire recommends the “I’m Ready” website at http://readyshelby.org