Every year, September marks the beginning of something important – National Preparedness Month. National Preparedness Month is recognized throughout the United States and raises awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time.
Being prepared is a whole community effort. From individuals to families, businesses to schools, we're all part of this effort to build a more resilient community. Being ready for emergencies doesn’t have to be complicated either. You can simply start with a simple conversation at the dinner table with your loved ones or take a few minutes to register for local emergency notifications.
Below are some simple steps you and your loved ones can take to be prepared – not just during National Preparedness Month, but throughout the entire year.
Make a Plan
Take time to talk with your family, friends or household about:
- Which types of disasters could affect your area
- How you will receive local emergency alerts and warnings. Register your cell phone and email with AlertSanDiego and download the County’s SD Emergency app.
- Escape routes for your home and neighborhood in case you need to evacuate quickly.
- Your emergency contacts and your communication plan
- While developing your plan, make sure you think about the specific needs of everyone in your household. Don’t forget to include your pets, service animals and/or large animals!
- Finally, don’t forget to practice your plan with your family or household often!
Build a Kit
After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means gathering enough food, water and other supplies in advance. An emergency kit is a collection of these and other essential items that your household may need in an emergency. The good news is many of these items may already be in your home!
- Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the recommended items in FEMA’s Emergency Supply list. Look through your home to see if you already have these items or bring a copy of the list with you to the store.
- Include one gallon of drinking water per person per day for several days, and at least a three-day supply of non-perishable foods.
- Consider the unique needs of your household. Include critical supplies for loved ones with disabilities, older adults, or infants and young children. Don’t forget your pets!
- Your kit should be in easy to move container or bag, in a location that is easy to remember. Store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.
- Don't forget to prepare your car for emergencies.
Having the right information during an emergency or a power outage is important. Make sure you’re informed:
- Sign up to get Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) notifications and other SDG&E outage updates at sdge.com/notifications and download the Alerts by SDG&E mobile app.
- Learn more about local hazards, how to prepare for them and how to sign up to get local emergency notifications at readysandiego.org
- To stay further informed, it also helps to know more about different alerts and warnings and how to get them.
Being prepared is a year-round practice. By doing small things now, you can help keep yourself and your loved ones resilient and safe, no matter what might come your way.