a sudden event, such as an accident or a natural catastrophe, that causes great damage or loss of life.
National Disaster Preparedness Month, an annual event implemented by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under the Department of Homeland Security is here. This campaign is designed to drive awareness to both natural and man-caused disasters, which is fitting because September is the month in which many well-known natural disasters have occurred, such as Hurricane Irma, Harvey – and of course, the most impactful man-caused disaster in U.S. history, the September 11 terrorist attacks.
One of the best ways you can demonstrate your commitment to “never forget” in September is by observing National Disaster Preparedness Month. FEMA advises everyone to put together an emergency kit, so that is a great place to start. Here’s what should go in it:
- Non-perishable foods
- Bottled water
- First aid supplies
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio
- Working flashlight and extra batteries
- A whistle to signal for help
- A set of dust masks, one for every family member
- Baby wipes for personal sanitation
- Tools, such as a wrench or pliers, to turn off utilities
- A manual can opener for canned food
- A cell phone charger and an inverter or solar charger
What if there is no disaster in the next year?
That’s great, but it doesn’t mean you should throw away your kit. Keep it stored in a cool, dry place and replace the foods and baby wipes every year. The rest of the items should remain untouched until you need them. If you remove them from your kit to use them during the year, there’s a good chance they won’t make it back into the kit – so for the items that you need for other purposes, simply purchase duplicates.
Remember, average Americans did not see the aforementioned disasters coming – so while it may be tempting to rest on your laurels and hope you never experience a disaster, that is very unwise. The best time to get prepared for an emergency is now, especially when it’s National Disaster Preparedness Month.
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