As Hurricane Irma approached the Florida coast, a friend in Virginia told me that a man in a store there bought multiple cases of bottled water. She asked, “what did he know that she didn’t?” Of course, the hurricane did not affect Virginia, but the story serves to remind all of us that September has been designated as National Preparedness Month by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
It could not be timelier, as the country has been rebuilding from, preparing for and undergoing two of the most devastating storms in recent years. Even as the country responds by sending people, supplies and money to help the victims of these storms recover and rebuild, the importance of ongoing emergency preparedness is a lesson for all of us.
Most of us over the past few weeks have considered, “My goodness, what if that happened to me?” Then, as human nature dictates, we are thankful that it hasn’t, and do what we can to support those who weren’t so fortunate, through both personal and corporate efforts.
Hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, droughts, fires, snow storms, and the like can affect all parts of the country. There are many reasons to take serious precautions to prepare for increasing climate variability in order to protect the water supply in communities we serve.
The National Preparedness Month website gives you step-by-step guidance to prepare for an emergency. Are you ready? You are if you can answer these questions thoroughly:
- How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
- What is my shelter plan?
- What is my evacuation plan?
- What is my family/household communications plan?
What about preparing an emergency water plan? It is not necessary to buy cases of bottled water if you follow these simple steps provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Storing you own tap water in clean containers in advance of an emergency will provide you with adequate water– (one gallon per person per day – including pets) and at a reasonable cost!
I encourage you to visit these sites for additional tools to help ensure the plans you have in place are the most appropriate for your current situation. Remember, it is too late to wait until disaster strikes or “on the way.” Getting prepared now is the key to survival and increasing your ability to protect yourself, your family and your assets.
Also, let’s remember an support those affected by disasters by making a contribution to the American Red Cross!