The recent newsworthy earthquakes in Napa, California, in Chile, and off the coast of northern Japan, earlier this month are sobering reminders that it is always prudent to prepare for major shakers. Since September is National Preparedness Month, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is partnering with communities in Arizona, California, Nevada and Hawaii to encourage families, individuals and businesses to act now to increase preparedness for emergencies of every type throughout the U.S. We, at RJWestmore Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services, join with FEMA to encourage preparedness throughout the month of September and beyond. After all, our goal is to “save lives through training” with the motto, #BESAFE.
Nancy Ward, FEMA Region IX Administrator said, “Preparedness is a shared responsibility. It takes a whole community and this is why you see federal, state, and county government agencies partnering with local municipalities, non-profits, and private businesses to spread the message about the importance of being prepared for emergency situations.”
National Preparedness Month is a nationwide, month-long effort hosted annually by the Ready Campaign and Citizen Corps, which encourages households, businesses and communities to prepare and plan for emergencies. One of the key messages is to be prepared in the event of an emergency, which includes making plans to be self-reliant for three days without utilities and electricity, water service, access to a supermarket or local services. People are further encouraged to prepare for the possibility of the unavailability of immediate response from agencies such as police, fire or rescue. According to FEMA, preparing for such disaster realities starts with five important steps:
- Stay informed about emergencies that could happen in your community. This year’s campaign will focus on “Family Connection,” encouraging families to prepare.
Identify sources of information in your community that will be helpful before, during and after an emergency. If you are aware of the potential emergencies that could strike your region, you will be better prepared during and after such an event. In other words, if you live in an area where tornadoes strike, take steps to prepare for tornadoes. If you live near a fault line, make sure you understand how to prepare for an earthquake, etc. Or, maybe consider moving somewhere where the earth doesn’t shake? Just a suggestion…Also, ask officials about your community’s disaster plans.
- Ask Questions:
- What hazards are most likely?
- How will I get alerts and warnings? Again, I recommend the Twilight Bark.
- What is the advice and plans for sheltering and evacuation for the hazards that may impact the community?
- Are there emergency contact numbers I should have for different situations?
- Are there opportunities for preparedness education and training? There are ample opportunities for online training through the RJWestmore Training System!
- Does my community have a plan? If so, can I obtain a copy?
- What does the plan contain?
- How often are plans updated?
- What should I know about this plan?
- What hazards does it cover?
- Make a plan for what to do in an emergency. Include the kids and pets in your plan. For business, make sure you include your employees. If you own or manage a facility, don’t forget your tenants or building occupants.
- Build an Emergency Supply Kit. Your kit should include a collection of basic items your household members (including pets) would need in the event of an emergency.
Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. Since you may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice, be prepared to take essentials with you since you probably won’t have time to search for and/or shop for the supplies you need.
Set aside 3-day-per-person-(and dog) supply-of food, water and other essentials. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. Help could arrive in hours or it could take days for relief workers to get to you.
Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. But you can always drink from the toilet. Works for me! Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.
- Get involved. A variety of activities and events are planned each year to commemorate National Preparedness Month. If you own a business, make sure you get everyone in your firm involved in the effort to prepare. An ideal way to do this is to subscribe to the RJWestmore Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services. Our system allows property management companies to manage one site or an entire portfolio, with all users in the same system. You can train occupants, floor wardens, and fire safety directors; all user training and testing is recorded. Get quick access to building specific Emergency Responder information and other resources.
This year’s National Preparedness Month focuses on establishing family connections in any emergency preparedness plan. For information about preparedness events, check out FEMA’s Ready.Gov website. When a disaster of any kind strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. Our system offers a convenient and affordable solution to all of the training needs of your building(s). Choosing our service cuts property management training-related costs by 90% and saves you over 50% compared to conventional training! More importantly, it saves lives.