National Preparedness Month

Many people don't know that September is National Preparedness Month. Honestly, if I wasn't interested in being prepared I wouldn't know that it was either. It's hard to say if it's a lack of communication/marketing on the organizations part or if it's the fact that we have an influx of information coming at us that it's easy for this to be overlooked. It's most likely a little of both. However, let's not let that stop us from seeking out the information that could be helpful and not be naive in a topic we all could use more information on.

You all have heard me preach about being self-reliant. One area of self-reliance that I think is important is preparedness. My intention with sharing preparedness topics on SMT was never to teach you how to build bunkers because there are plenty of hardcore survivalist with dedicated sites that will break it all down for you. My goal is for you to start a conversation with yourself & family to begin entertaining the idea of preparedness and to show you small ways you can start incorporating the preparedness mindset into your lifestyle.

For my readers that are new I wanted to share a few past SMT posts that you might find helpful and for the longtime SMT followers (thank you), hopefully these will be a nice preparedness refresher.

There are also tons of other resources available online to help you become prepared for many different disaster levels. Besides individual blogs, one of my go-to resources is Ready.Gov where they provide endless checklists, videos, and tips to help make preparedness easy.

One of the easiest and most simple steps in getting you and your family prepared is to start by having a discussion and then begin developing a plan. One of the questions you want to ask yourself when creating a preparedness plan is, "What if something happens and I'm not with my family or at home?" While the question will definitely spawn further conversation and action items, the root of the question will help get you started down the preparedness path. Many disasters happen without any warning and most likely you and your family are not always together. If that's the case, do you know how you will get in touch with them or do they know of a safe meeting place?

Tonight while you are having dinner, why not discuss one simple aspect of preparedness and that's what your individual/family meeting location should be. When having this discussion, decide on places that are familiar and safe to your family.  Also ensure that these places are accessible for anyone in your family that might have special needs. Additionally, don't leave your pets out of this discussion; take into consideration that some of these places many not be animal-friendly. When having this conversation, start with identifying the following places when creating your families plan:

  • Indoor: If you live in an area where tornadoes, hurricanes, or other high-wind storms can happen, make sure everyone knows where to go for protection. This could be a small, interior, windowless room, such as a closet or bathroom, on the lowest level of a sturdy building, or a tornado safe room or storm shelter (ref: fema.gov).
  • In your neighborhood: This is a place in your neighborhood where your household members will meet if there is a fire or other emergency and you need to leave your home. The meeting place could be a big tree, a mailbox at the end of the driveway, or a neighbor’s house (ref: fema.gov).
  • Outside of your neighborhood: This is a place where your family will meet if a disaster happens when you’re not at home and you can’t get back to your home. This could be a library, community center, house of worship, or family friend’s home (ref: fema.gov).
  • Outside of your town or city: Having an out-of-town meeting place can help you reunite if a disaster happens and: You cannot get home or to your out-of-neighborhood meeting place; or Your family is not together and your community is instructed to evacuate the area. This meeting place could be the home of a relative or family friend. Make sure everyone knows the address of the meeting place and discuss ways you would get there(ref: fema.gov). 

Once you have a plan that meets the needs of your family you can go from there to start building out emergency kits, bags, and so forth. 

Have you and your family discussed your meeting locations? Do you and your family already have a preparedness plan?

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is based on my opinions and for informational use only. I am not an expert in this field and any items/services/products/advice mentioned in these posts should be used at your own discretion and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. You can read more about my privacy & disclosure policies here.