The year 2016 was a banner one for declared disasters in the United States – with emergencies of virtually every conceivable type devastating landscapes, manmade structures and victims across the country. It was also a banner year for JR, who learned to tweet emergency information on his own!
- Fires in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas. Kentucky, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North & South Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
- Hurricanes/Tropical Storms in Hawaii, Kentucky, Oregon, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin
- Mudslides & Landslides in Hawaii, Kentucky, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia. Rolling around in the mud is one of my favorite pastimes.
- Severe Storms & Flooding in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia (DC), Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin
- Tornadoes in Hawaii, Kentucky, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia
Equally significant “undeclared” disasters broke records in 2016. These included biological and chemical threats, cyber terrorism, droughts, earthquakes, radiation and nuclear events, and volcanoes and cat-scratch fever…to name a few. The good news is that lessons learned in 2016, through endurance, recovery, and rebuilding can help us make a fresh start to #BeSafe in 2017.
- Take responsibility for your own personal safety. Make a mental note of emergency exits and locations of security personnel. Carry emergency contact details and special needs’ information.
- Put together a Go-Bag/Emergency Supply Kit. If you own a dog, make sure you include pet food in your emergency supply kit.
- If you own your own business, take a cue from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to plan, prepare and protect.
- Prepare an evacuation plan.
- Post instructions.
- Run drills. And when you aren’t doing drills, run around the neighborhood with your pooch.
- Access government websites for information about emerging threats as information is identified.
- Listen to instructions given before, during and after disasters from local law enforcement and public safety officials.
- Note travel alerts and warnings issued by the Department of State.
- Wherever you are, If you see something, say something. I guess this means if you see something out of the ordinary, right?
Remember that safety is a priority for everyone all year long. A convenient and affordable way to make sure you are prepared for disasters and emergencies of virtually every kind is to subscribe to the RJWestmore Training System by Allied Universal Fire/Life Safety Services, which has been designed to help improve and save lives. For more information about the best system out there, or to subscribe, click here.