September is National Preparedness Month with the theme, "Disasters Don't Plan Ahead. You can.," which serves as a reminder that we all must take action to prepare–now and throughout the year–for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work and visit. As the southeastern U.S. braces for its second hurricane in a couple of weeks, Hurricane Irma, NFPA can help by providing action steps that will help you prepare your family and your home for the storm, flood waters and a possible evacuation:
- Make an emergency supplies kit including water and copies of important documents, in a waterproof, portable container. Keep the kit in an easily accessible location so if you need to evacuate, you can grab it quickly
- Fill your car's gas tank in case you need to leave the area
- Bring in all outside furniture, decorations, garbage cans, etc. to reduce the risk of damage these items can cause in severe winds
- Turn off utilities if instructed to do so; unplug electrical appliances and move them to high points if possible
- Turn off propane tanks
- Evacuate your home when told to do so by authorities
In the west, wildfires continue to threaten communities in Montana, California, Idaho and other northwest and central states. NFPA offers helpful tips and resources to help you prepare ahead of an evacuation. Consider the following action steps you can put into motion now:
- Sign up for local emergency notifications/alerts
- Have an evacuation plan and a designated meeting place where family members will reconnect after the evacuation
- Make an emergency supply kit and keep it handy when evacuation is necessary
- Remove deck/ patio furniture, cushions and door mats to prevent ember ignitions
- Remove portable propane tanks from the deck/patio and turn them off
- Know how to turn off the gas to the home
- Make sure windows, doors and garage doors are closed; close the windows of vehicals that will remain at the residence while you’re evacuated
Find these tips and more on NFPA's Firewise USATM webpage.
Starting this week, check back with us on our Fire Break and Safety Source blogs for resources, tips and ideas that will help you and your family prepare for a crisis, whether you live in the wildland-urban interface, the suburbs or downtown. And stay tuned to our social media channels that will highlight preparedness messaging you can share with family members, neighbors and your community.
Learn what you can do before, during and after each type of emergency. Get started now! Join us for National Preparedness Month and together let's do our part to help reduce our risk.