Be Prepared, Not Scared in an Emergency

September is recognized as National Preparedness Month.  The 2019 theme is “Prepared. Not Scared.”   National Preparedness month is recognized annually to promote family and community disaster and emergency planning now and throughout the year.  Each week of the month has a different focus:
Week 1:  save early for disaster costs
Wee, 2:  make a plan to prepare for disasters
Week 3:  teach youth to prepare for disasters
Week 4:  get involved in your community’s preparedness
It is important to know what types of incidents may occur in our area because that will determine how you should prepare for that type of disaster.  In a large scale disaster local emergency response agencies will be quickly overwhelmed with calls for service so residents need to be prepared to take care of themselves and their neighbors.   If additional resources are requested from the state or federal government it may be 24-72 hours before help arrives.  Residents must have the knowledge, skills, and resources to take care of themselves; don’t depend on someone else to be there.  I believe no matter what type of disaster can occur it comes down to being prepared by having three basic elements:
Have a family plan
                Be prepared and self-sufficient; have a go-bag
                Consider the need to evacuation and where you might go (friends or relatives, hotels, shelters)
                Maintain cash availability or reserve credit card just for emergencies
Transportation and mobility issues (family members with disabilities or functional needs)
Medical and dietary requirements
Pet care
evacuation routes
health considerations
Have a family communication and reunification plan
                List of important people and contact numbers
                Designate an out of town contact so if family members are separated they can contact one person to get reunited
Designate emergency meeting places indoors, in the neighborhood, and outside of the neighborhood
Consider the various means of communication-landline, cell phone, text, social media
Register for the City and Cuyahoga County emergency notification system (reverse 9-1-1) is ready.notify ( or
There are other important apps that you can put on your phone for NOAA, The Weather Channel, or local news and weather channels.  A NOAA emergency radio is also a great tool for monitoring weather alerts.
Have a disaster emergency kit
                Water 1 gal per person per day for minimum 3 days
Food at least 3 day supply of non-perishable food
                Flashlight and batteries
First aid kit
Cell phone charger and car charger
Can opener
Hand tools to turn off utilities
Childcare supplies (formula, diapers, wipes)
Family documents and important paper
Personal hygiene supplies