Disaster preparedness means helping to make every individual – no matter what age – know their hazards and know how to be properly prepared in the event of any number of emergencies or disasters. Knowing how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a disaster can not only make you feel more secure, it may save your life or the life of a loved one. The following are some steps to take to better aide in becoming best prepared for any type of disaster.
MYTH: I DON’T NEED TO WORRY ABOUT DISASTERS WHERE I LIVE.
Emergency preparedness is not only for Californians, Midwesterners and Gulf Coast residents. Most communities may be impacted by several types of hazards during a lifetime. Americans also travel more than ever before to areas with different hazard risks than at home. Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count. Use this site to learn about potential emergencies that can happen and how to prepare for and respond to them.
The City of New Braunfels takes pride in protecting and preparing its citizens for emergencies and disasters. The Office of Emergency Management provides "boots on the ground" resources during critical and non-critical operations.
Here are some resources that can help you be prepared:
What to do before disaster strikes:
Learn what protective measures to take before, during, and after an emergency. Some basic protective actions are similar across many different hazards:
• Physical safety is a concern for all hazards and may involve sheltering or evacuating.
• Develop a family communications plan
• Make an emergency supply kit to be prepared for any type of disaster.
• Learn about receiving emergency alerts and local emergency plans for shelter and evacuation, local emergency contacts, and local advance alerts and warnings.
• When recovering from a disaster, safety as well as mental and physical well-being must be considered.
There are various types of disasters that may affect your family, like Natural Disasters, Terrorist Hazards, Home Fires, Technological Hazards, etc. It's important to plan ahead for the differences between these potential emergencies and how they will impact the decisions you make and the actions you take.
Make a Plan
Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes so it is important to plan in advance: how you will get to a safe place; how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations. Read more about Family Communication during an emergency.
Ready.gov has made it simple for you to make a family emergency plan. Download the Family Communication Plan for Parents and Kids (PDF) and fill out the sections before printing it or emailing it to your family and friends. http://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan
You should also inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare, school, faith organizations, sports events, etc. Read more about school and workplace plans.
Have a plan for traveling between work and home, and other commonly visited locations, in case of an emergency. Download the Commuter Emergency Plan (PDF). http://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan
Build a Kit
A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.
Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.
You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days.
Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.