Hurricane season is now in full swing and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is urging those residents who have not already done so, to quickly develop a family disaster plan in case of emergency.
FEMA and local responders have a critical role to play in disaster preparedness; however, they cannot do it all. When it comes to the safety of individuals and their families, there is no substitute for individual preparedness. Listed below are some of the actions citizens can take to get ready for a possible emergency.
Prepare a disaster kit for your home: Stock up on non-perishable food and water to sustain you and your family for up to three days or longer. Ensure you have important papers (e.g. insurance, identification), first aid kit, a supply of prescription medicines and other specialty items in your preparedness kit. In addition, plan to have an emergency kit for your car in case you need to evacuate. Plans should be made for any family member who may need special assistance because of a disability. Provisions should also be made for family pets. Find more information on preparing your disaster kit at www.ready.gov/america/getakit/index.html.
Create an emergency plan: Know what to do if you have to evacuate. Make sure you know how to contact members of your family and have an emergency contact number for someone out of state that knows where you are in the event of an emergency.
Be informed: Know evacuation routes and listen to local authorities when asked to evacuate. Whether you live in a coastal community or inland, speak with your insurance agent now about flood insurance and review your homeowner’s policy. Everyone can be at risk for flooding and homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage. Flood insurance is a cost-effective way to financially prepare for floods. To learn more about your risk and flood insurance, visit www.floodsmart.gov.
Learn more about preparedness by visiting the Department of Homeland Security’s preparedness website, www.Ready.gov or the State of Louisiana’s preparedness website, www.getagameplan.org.
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