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Public Health Corner: Be prepared, not scared

Natural Disasters in 2018 combined over 46 Billion dollars and cost 197 individuals their lives.

So why do we plan for disasters?

We plan for disaster’s to protect the safety and well-being of our children, loved ones, homes, domestic pets, and community. Knowledge applied is power. Being prepared in an uncontrolled and unplanned situation can save lives, time, expenses, and efforts of those involved.

So how do you apply knowledge in preparedness without a disaster? By creating plans, communicating them with your family and loved ones, and testing the plans.

Some of the most common disasters we would see in our area could be, but is not limited to, flooding, severe thunderstorms, power outages, tornados, snow and ice storms, and extreme weather events.

There is information on the internet that offers tips on family and community disaster and emergency planning. You can find it at https://ready.gov/make-a-plan This website will walk you through the why’s and how’s of planning for personal preparedness in your home, community, and even place of business.

So why is it important to have a personal preparedness plan?

This simple planning can help you to identify how you might receive emergency alerts and warnings for your area. For example your plan can include the capability of receiving messaging if the power is out.

Your emergency plan might put into perspective what items you may need to have on hand in the event of sheltering in place, with or without power, and some recommendations of items to set aside in a kit to prepare for the potential of sheltering in place for up to 72 hours. This kit may include supplies specific to your day to day living needs and responsibilities, such as specific food items, water, medications, assistive devices, emergency contact information, meeting places, and or domestic pets.

Different emergencies may call for a variety of different responses, another possible option during an emergency can be evacuation. Some evacuations may allow for the community to take a day or 2 to evacuate and others may create a dire situation where the recommended action is for an immediate evacuation. Emergency preparedness planning for an evacuation can include how you would get out of your community, knowing the route and establishing an alternative route. It is also encouraged that you make prior arrangements with family and relatives out of state that you could potentially stay with during the emergency.

Failing to plan, is planning to fail.

Any effort taken making an emergency plan, a communication plan, creating an emergency kit, and planning how to stay informed during an emergency will make a significant difference if and when a disaster strikes.

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