Updated: Oct 4, 2018
Although this blog series will eventually cover a variety of ways to make you feel safe in a world that feels increasingly challenging on all fronts, this first series of posts is all about the Basics for Emergency Prevention & Disaster Preparedness—let’s call it FEMA LITE—a CliffsNotes on how to feel more confident that you have done everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones from unexpected emergencies and potential disasters.
Sometimes "getting started" isn't easy. But these simple steps should help you organize your information quickly to make it simple for you to protect yourself, your family, and even your pets!
We’ve called on the expertise of our resident emergency expert, Deborah Okoniewski, to point the way. If you want to know more about Deb, you can read the full interview here, but look for Deb's special Helpful Reminders throughout these posts to help you get started on effective emergency planning.
These are the "meat and potato" first steps to your goal. Get these first steps taken care of, and you’ll be set for unexpected emergencies for the long haul. You’ll still have to replenish water, adjust any pertinent personal information that changes, and make sure certain food products and medicines have not expired, but you’ll have the basics covered.
Here's what Deb, has to say:
Flapper Press: Why do you think most people don’t take the time to prepare until it’s almost too late?
Deb: I think a lot of people don’t like to think about catastrophes and being ready because they aren’t that common. Natural disasters are not a common occurrence, and the average person doesn’t realize that you may not have a lot of time to evacuate your home if a state of emergency is called. Some of it is procrastination, and some of it is not wanting to think about what might happen.
FP: Let's talk about the Go To Gals Emergency Decals. If someone takes the time to fill out these easy-to-use decals, do you consider that enough prep work, even if you can’t get any of the rest of it done?
Deb: Taking the time to sit down and fill out the decals together is prep work because you are discussing the information on what to do in case of an emergency. It is information sharing with family members on what to do. That is the first step in making your plan.
FP: What are a few practical, easy-to-implement steps that anyone can take to set them on the road to peace of mind regarding potential emergencies and disasters?
Deb: Start small and build. Make a list of emergency contact phone numbers for your family. - Do you have an out-of-state contact that can be the point person?
- Do you know where the gas and water shut-off valves are located?
- What kind of supplies do you have on hand in terms of food, water?
- Do you keep supplies in your vehicle in case you are stranded?
These are just a few questions to get you started thinking about being more prepared.
So, let's get started!
1. EASY FIRST STEP:
Order the Go To Gals Emergency Decals and fill in your personal information. Stick them near your phone, on the fridge, inside a cabinet door, or anywhere you need them for easy reference.
This alone will move you major steps forward in emergency planning.
By taking the time to sit down with your family to figure out these first handful of basic steps, you'll be able to fill out the decals, place them where you want them, and not have to worry so much about what you would do should an emergency occur.
Here are a few things to consider:
Identify the main utility switches for water, gas, and electricity in your home. Teach appropriate household members how and when to turn utilities off if they suspect the utility lines are damaged or if local emergency personnel give instructions to shut the utilities off. Place all essential tools near each utility main switch for easy shut-off.
Consider drawing a diagram of utility main switch locations.
Record all instructions on the Go To Gals Utility Shut Off Decal and post in a quick reference location for you or household members to refer to if the utilities ever need to be shut off.
Stick the Go To Gals Pet Alert Decal near the front door of your home to alert emergency workers to the number and location of your pets.
Stick the small Go To Gals Emergency Contact Decals in your wallet, purse, glove box, children's backpack, or give one to your babysitter.
Give all your important emergency information to your support network. Consider giving them a Go To Gals Emergency Contact Decal with your important information.
In our next post, we'll continue to discuss the "basics" of emergency prevention and disaster preparedness!
We promise, if you take these first important steps toward doing everything you can do to protect yourself and those you love, you'll feel so much better!