Being prepared for all emergencies anddisasters – not just terrorist attacks – prepares individuals and families for faster recovery and helps to keep families and communities together.
According to Michael Harris, Emergency Operations Chief for Santa Barbara County, “Since that terrible September morning eleven years ago, there have been dozens of major emergenciesand disasters in this country. While we need to always be prepared to respond as a nation to those who want to harm us, we must not forget that maintaining basic preparedness helpseveryone be ready for any disaster.”
According to Harris, emergency managers want residents to achieve the very basic level of preparedness by addressing four areas:
1. Store one gallon of water per-person-per-day for five days
2. Obtain a hand-crank radio to monitor local media stations and the National Weather Servicefor emergency information.
3. Store about five days worth of canned and other foods with a long shelf-life that can be easilyrotated and used
4. Have a plan – Know who you are going to contact out of state through a quick call or text, know where your family members are going to meet and have a conversation about what you will do when the next disaster strikes.
It is estimated that only 10-12% of residents are prepared for our next emergency. Basic levels of preparedness will help residents navigate the first three to five days until local emergency services can reach many stranded residents and until state and federal resources arrive. During the month of September, local emergency managers, government officials, and civic leaders are reminding people that September is “National Preparedness Month” by including an email tag line:
If a disaster happens tomorrow, are you ready?