Preparedness – Make a Plan
September is preparedness month. Consider taking a few minutes to build your preparedness, the first line of defense when a disaster strikes. The first step is making a plan. Here are some things to consider and things to include:
1. Have a plan for your family. You may not be together when a disaster strikes so it is important to know how to get a hold of each other or where to meet. You can print a template family emergency plan here.
2. Create an emergency contact card and distribute to all members of your family. Be sure to include an out-of-town contact. Visit Maricopa County Emergency Management’s website for one you can fill out.
3. In case of a fire or other emergency in your house find at least two ways out of each room, write it in your plan and make sure each member in your household knows how to escape.
4. Review your plan, check supplies, and update phone numbers every six months to make sure nothing is expired and all information is relevant. Put a reminder on your calendar now. Now would also be a good time to practice your disaster plan with members of your family.
5. Plan ahead for your kit. Buy a few things at a time from the grocery store so that you will always have something.
6. Know where your electric, gas, and water shut-off valves are in case you need to turn off your utilities during a disaster.
7. Identify the hazards in your area and how to best plan for each hazard. Share the information with family members and include in your family disaster plan.