Like an uninvited guest, disasters have a way of showing up when we least expect them. In recognition of National Preparedness Month, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) encourages Hoosiers to spend the month of September talking with their friends and family about planning and preparing for all of Indiana’s potential disasters.
“It is now more important than ever to actively prepare for all types of disasters, be it natural or man-made,” said Erin Rowe, director of emergency management for IDHS, the state agency that coordinates disaster response from the State Emergency Operations Center. “Indiana is now experiencing more frequent and intense severe weather throughout the year. Taking the time to talk with loved ones about disaster preparedness is crucial to reducing the anxiety and losses that accompany disasters, especially during these trying times.”
This year’s National Preparedness Month theme, “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today,” emphasizes the importance of creating a family emergency communications plan, assembling a disaster preparedness kit and identifying the different types of disasters that can happen locally. Most of all, parents and guardians should use this month as an opportunity to talk with children about preparing for emergencies and getting them involved in the disaster planning process.
Some helpful safety tips to consider when creating a disaster plan are:
• Emergency plans need should always be tailored to the specific needs of the household.
• Create a list of emergency contacts, and share it with family members and friends.
• Discuss possible emergency scenarios with family members. Include events such as fires, natural disasters and man-made disasters.
• Establish an evacuation route that can be used in the event of a disaster, and make sure all family members are aware of them.