FEMA offers tips for natural disasters for National Preparedness Month

Texas National Guard soldiers arrive in Houston, Texas to aid citizens in heavily flooded areas from the storms of Hurricane Harvey.

September is National Preparedness Month.

As families are continuing to clean up the devastation left by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, first responders want to make sure that citizens are prepared for a natural disaster.

According to FEMA, you and your family should be prepared for a variety of disasters including weather events like flooding, landslides, wildfires, tornadoes, extreme heat, and extreme cold. There are other possibilities for disaster too, that could be devastating if you aren’t prepared. Those incidents can include bio terrorism, pandemic, cyber security, and long-term power outages.

FEMA has a checklist of supplies they recommend for you to put in your family’s emergency supply kit. Some of those supplies include flashlights with extra batteries, matches, a power pack to charge your phone, a dust mask and gloves, a tool bag to turn off utilities, and a bucket with a lid to keep items from getting wet.

FEMA recommends following 4 steps to plan ahead and prepare well in advance for a disaster.

Step 1: Put together a plan by discussing these 4 questions with your family, friends, or household to start your emergency plan.

Step 2: Consider specific needs in your household.

  • Different ages of members within your household
  • Responsibilities for assisting others
  • Locations frequented
  • Dietary needs
  • Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
  • Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
  • Languages spoken
  • Cultural and religious considerations
  • Pets or service animals
  • Households with school-aged children

Step 3: Fill out a family emergency plan

Download and fill out a family emergency plan or use them as a guide to create your own.

Step 4: Practice the plan with your family/household

Emergency officials also recommend making extra plans if you have elderly loved ones or pets in your home.

For resources you can use to make checklists with your family, click here.