Prepare the Whole Family
Think about the unique needs of your family when making emergency plans.
National Preparedness Month is a great time to evaluate how ready you are for an emergency! Don’t forget about the people who depend on you. Are there children, older adults, people with disabilities, special medical needs, or pets in your life? These groups are more vulnerable during a disaster, and your emergency plan should take their needs into consideration. Here are some suggestions for how you can be ready to help the people you care about during an emergency.
Think About Who Depends on You
Children, older family members, and even pets that rely on you for everyday care will be looking to you during an emergency. Make sure you are prepared for the medical or physical needs of people you care for during an emergency. When building an emergency kit, include special medication, medical supplies, food and water for pets, and comfort items for children. A favorite toy or blanket can go a long way to help calm nerves during a disaster. Have a plan for how you would provide care if you were evacuated or had to shelter in place. Share your emergency plans with those you care for and make sure they are prepared and know what to do in an emergency.
Make Plans Together
One of the best ways you can provide care for people around you is to talk to them about preparing for an emergency or disaster before one occurs. A simple conversation to get others involved in emergency preparedness can be the best way to help. Talk to your neighbors about disasters in your area and how best to prepare and respond. Reach out to older relatives and talk to them about their plan for a disaster. Have a conversation with your kids about emergency preparedness and get them involved in your disaster plan in a way they can understand. At work, make sure that there is a disaster plan in place and that emergency plans are shared and easy to understand.
Form a Support Network
Talk to neighbors or coworkers about forming support networks. A support network is a great way for people who are more vulnerable due to physical, medical, or other limitations to get extra assistance in an emergency. Learn how you can help people around you during an emergency and make sure people around you are aware of additional help you may need.
Contact your Local Emergency Management Office
The local chapter of the American Red Cross can provide more information about the kinds of natural disasters you need to be aware of in your area (hurricanes, wildfires, etc.). For more information, please see Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and other Special Needs[713 KB].
Get Trained to Help!
Often, the people who provide the most immediate and important help during a disaster are not trained medical or emergency response professionals, but simply people who were closest to the disaster and pitched in to help. Take a first aid or disaster response training course and be ready in case that person is you! These courses, often no longer than a weekend, could make the difference in helping save someone's life after an emergency. For more information on how you can be involved before, during, and after an emergency, please see Community Emergency Response Teams.
You can do it! Be ready!
Remember that anybody and everybody can and should be involved in preparing for an emergency. A successful response starts with preparation.