Preparedness: You Can Be the Hero
September 2013 is National Preparedness Month. This year’s National Preparedness Month’s theme is “You Can Be the Hero.” The goal is to encourage every American to be ready for any emergency. Full time RVers are already pretty well prepared for evacuation, so it doesn’t take much to finish the job.
Being a preparedness advocate, I adapted some information to RV living taken from FEMA, NOAA and other emergency agencies. For home dwellers, plan to pack quickly and know how much you can take with you. Be able to do this without delaying your evacuation. Unlike house-dwellers RVers take their homes with them when they evacuate. For RVers, planning may just mean doing more of what we do routinely.
Every season has a unique set of disasters associated with it:
- Hurricanes in late summer and fall
- Tornadoes in late spring through fall
- Blizzards in winter
- Floods during rainy seasons and even during droughts where the ground resists soaking up water quickly
- Forest fires burn throughout the hot, dry western summers
Then there are the unpredictable disasters like earthquakes, or less predictable ones like riots, terrorist acts, or wars. In other words, preparedness should be like your emergency fund, something you have ready but hope never to have to use.
Where to Find Preparedness Planning Information
In 2011 Texas Governor, Rick Perry’s Committee on People with Disabilities held an Emergency Management Conference. They addressed several dozen emergency preparedness issues for people with disabilities. This is quite a lengthy document that covers things most people won’t think of. You can read it at http://governor.state.tx.us/disabilities/promising_practices_emergency_mgmt.
President Obama’s proclamation links us to FEMA’s “Ready” page at http://www.ready.gov that links to information about preparing for different emergencies or disasters. For a version of this page in Spanish go to “Listo” at http://www.ready.gov/translations/spanish/.
Download a copy of Ad Hoc Group Preppers’ Emergency Plan Checklist at http://www.adhocgroup.net/download/emchecklist.pdf, and stock up using the list as a guide. Page two of this Plan lists several links to FEMA, NOAA, weather report sites, road conditions. There’s also a list of preparedness articles on several different emergencies that were adapted to RVers. Print it out or keep a copy on your computer for quick access to timely information for your area.
Don’t Drag Your Feet on Preparedness
The best thing you can do is to understand how important it is to have a plan, a supply of essentials (food, medicine, water, blankets, etc.,) how to communicate with each other, where to meet, and how to get to safety long before the emergency presents itself. When it happens, it will be too late to begin a preparedness plan. The pages referenced here will make that much easier to do.