Preparedness is all the things we do before a disaster occurs to lessen the impact of the disaster, increase our safety during the disaster, and expedite recovery when the disaster is over. Preparedness is a shared responsibility that begins with you. Even though most cities, counties, states, and the Federal Government have emergency management preparation in place, none of them can be everywhere at once. We know in a large emergency or disaster we might not be able to get to everyone that needs help right away. It is important that your family is prepared to take care of themselves for at least 72 hours.
Benefits of Being Prepared
There are reports that indicate the percentage of Americans that are prepared for a disaster is less than 6%.
Obviously there are many reasons why people don't prepare for an emergency. Maybe they think a disaster won't happen to them or that preparation may be too expensive. Perhaps they intend to get prepared, but other things end up taking priority. In the end, it doesn't matter what challenges are presented, it is important to take preparedness seriously. Once there is an emergency, it is too late to prepare.
You do not need to make elaborate evacuation plans, underground bunkers, and enough food to last a nuclear winter, but some very basic preparation taken before a disaster can affect what your life will be after. You and your family are too precious to leave your well-being to chance. Please take some time and review the rest of this page as well as the others associated with this page and begin creating a family emergency plan, developing a 72 hour supply kit, and staying informed of the disasters we potentially face.
Ways to Prepare
There are a few simple steps that you should do to prepare for an emergency. The following is a basic and minimal list of things to do and have in order to prepare for an emergency:
Get Informed About Risks in Your Area
- Visit websites such as Be Ready Utah
- Speak with your local Emergency Management department
- Talk to others in your community about any risks they may be aware of
Develop a Plan
- If you need to evacuate:
- Where will you go?;
- If you are separated from your family members, where will you meet? It is a good idea to have a secondary meeting place in case the first one is unavailable.
- Who is responsible to get the supplies, animals, etc.?
- If you lose heat to your house:
- Do you have a secondary way to heat your house?
- Is there somewhere else you can go?
- Do you have a camp trailer with a heater that you may be able to stay in?
- Continue to develop rational 'What If' scenarios and plan for them.
- Build an emergency 72 hour kit. The kit should include 72 hours worth of supplies for each family member and pet. This may include:
- A first aid kit
- Flash light
- If applicable: baby formula or food, diapers, bottles, and wipes
- If applicable: a list of prescription medications or other medical devices
- Important documents in a waterproof bag, including a list of phone numbers of family members
- A minimum of 3 days worth of non-perishable food and potable water
- Portable radio
- Spare batteries
- Water proof baggies
Have regular family meetings together to discuss preparedness.