Preparedness: Simple Steps to Weather the Storm
September 1, 2007
September is “National Preparedness Month”, and Governor Baldacci has designated it as Preparedness Month in Maine as well. The Maine Emergency Management Agency and the sixteen County Emergency Management Agencies remind Mainers that with simple steps, all of us can “weather the storm.”
- What emergencies could affect you where you live or work?
- How would you be affected by those emergencies? Would your home be at risk? Your workplace? Your children’s school?
- How can you get ready for these emergencies?
- What can you do to reduce the risk of damage to your home?
- What is your insurance coverage?
- Decide with your family how to communicate with each other if you are separated. Gather the phone numbers of local responders and keep them next to your phone, and a copy in your wallet or car. Do your children know how to call for help? Make sure your plan covers any family member’s special needs.
- After making your plan, practice it!
- What supplies would you need if your family had to stay in your home for several days, possibly without power? The things you don’t already have you can purchase gradually to balance out any cost.
- What different things would you need if you had to evacuate? Don’t forget a battery-operated NOAA weather radio.
- Make a plan to take care of your pets, especially if you may have to leave your home.
Stay well informed about what’s going on, every day.
- Keep track of the latest weather reports. Turn on that weather radio!
- Listen or watch the news carefully. Make sure you have accurate information about what’s happening.
- Make sure you are aware of orders or recommendations advised by officials in your area.
When an emergency is imminent, carry out your plan.
- Take the steps needed to ride out the event safely in your home.
- Evacuate if advised to do so.
- Work as a team with your neighbors. Help each other. Are there folks in your neighborhood who might need extra help?
- Support the disaster relief fund of an organization that’s working to help victims. Don’t forget local organizations – food kitchens and local volunteer groups help people every day through emergencies large and small.
- Remember that cash donations are the most helpful. Cash allows relief organizations to obtain exactly what’s needed at the scene.
- Help out the planning team that’s building an emergency plan for your town, your children’s school, or your workplace.
- Join a local volunteer response group, such as your local fire department, Community Emergency Response Team, a local chapter of the Red Cross, Salvation Army or other group that helps out in an emergency.
- Join an organization that responds to disasters around the country and around the world. Use your special skills to help those in need.
Maine prepares. It’s part of who we are. But we can all do more to weather the storm, whether it’s a hurricane, winter storm, or an emergency of another kind. To learn more, contact your county or local emergency management agency, or visit the Maine Prepares web site at: