For those of us living in Louisiana, you know we have four seasons just like everyone else: football, crawfish, summer, and hurricane.
Generally speaking, September is the most active month for hurricanes out of the year. September is also designated as National Preparedness Month by ready.gov, a website created by the Department of Homeland Security to help families and businesses prepare for disasters and emergencies.
Ready.gov breaks down the month of September week by week with things you can do to help prepare you and your family:
Week 1: Make a Plan
Discuss how you will react to the news of a hurricane, house fire, or even another pandemic. You can get tips on each of these disasters on ready.gov. If you're having trouble making a plan, check out a planning checklist here, opens a new window.
Week 2: Build a Kit
Having a kit ready is an excellent idea, especially in areas such as ours where we are prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes. I'm sure we have all seen what happens to the shelves at the grocery store when hurricane season begins (say goodbye to the water and toilet paper!), so having a small stockpile handy is a great way to be prepared. If you aren't sure what to put in your kit, check out a helpful link here, opens a new window.
Week 3: Prepare for Disasters
Once you've made a plan and put together a kit, it's important to consider the outside effects that a natural disaster may have on you. Keeping track of your home and auto insurance policies is vital to ensuring that you will be protected if a hurricane or other emergency hits. It's also important to have your home prepped to deal with strong winds or flying debris. Also, consider subscribing to emergency alerts to stay aware of emergencies. You can find more information on emergency alerts here, opens a new window.
Week 4: Teach Youth About Preparedness
Preparedness doesn't end with you! There may be a situation in which your family is separated or you become incapacitated. It's vital that every member of your family knows how to protect themselves in the face of an emergency. Ensure that all of your family members are aware of your emergency plan so that in the event of separation everyone is on the same page and knows where to go. If talking to your kids or teens about emergencies is difficult, the Department of Homeland Security has games and tips here, opens a new window.
The most important thing to remember is to be smart, safe, and prepared! A small amount of preparation can make a huge difference when faced with an emergency situation that requires evacuation or quick thinking. Stay safe out there!