With warm weather comes the fresh breath of spring. To me, spring means extra long walks! But, for millions of two-legged Americans, spring means something else entirely—storm season! This year, devastating tornadoes and storms in the South have already left thousands of families in need of food, shelter and other basic necessities. I hope they didn’t run out of bacon. Other spring storm-related disasters have included flooding, tornadoes and wildfires, all of which have resulted in numerous deaths and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of property damage.
So, what steps can you take to make sure that this spring, you will BE SAFE? One way to prepare is to follow the Red Cross Be Ready Checklist. Find out if you’re ready by taking this brief quiz: (You are ready as long as you can answer each question with a heart “yes.” Or a “ruff” would do.)
- Do you know what emergencies or disasters are most likely to occur in your community?
- To find out which weather-related disasters are most likely to strike your region, check out the NOAA Weather website. RJWestmore Training System users can use the NOAA Weather Application while logged into the training site. For instance, residents of Illinois can check out the section about Chicago area tornado preparedness.
- Do you have a family disaster plan and practice it?
- FEMA provides free resources to help you create a family plan.
- RJWestmore trainees have access to the following resources to aid in family planning:
- Home Fire Escape Plan
- Home Safety Basics for People with Special Needs
- Blackouts at Home
- Children and Disasters
- Family Communication After a Disaster
- Home Earthquake Plan
- Pets & Disaster Planning
- Planning for Those with Disabilities
- Red Cross Ready Make a Plan
- Do you have an Emergency Preparedness Kit?
- Tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Most individuals have both specific personal needs as well as resources to assist others.
- For specific ideas about what to pack in a “go bag,” check out RJWestmore blog posts. You can also find great ideas for preparing an emergency bag at the Ready.gov website.
- I suggest including pork chops and chew toys in any bag you take to go.
- Is at least one member of your household trained in first aid and CPR/AED?
CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) and AED (Automated External Defibrillator) training meets the needs of workplace responders, school staffs, professional responders and healthcare providers, as well as the general public. The American Red Cross offers certified and non-certified training options. Check out the Red Cross website to access course descriptions and materials.
- Have you taken action to help your community prepare?
You might consider joining a Community Emergency Response Team. Also known as CERT, this program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and also trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.
Utilizing classroom training as well as exercises, CERT members learn to assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community. And that’s always a good thing.
When a disaster of any kind strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact RJWestmore, Inc. Our new Version 2.5 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. What’s more, the NEW RJWestmore Property Messaging System is included FREE for all RJWestmore Online Training System users. Visit www.RJWestmore.com for more information.