Buy an extra gallon of water the next time you’re at the grocery store. Bring it home, store it away and don’t drink it. You have started building your emergency preparedness kit.
Disasters can happen at any time in Vermont; whether it’s a snow storm, flood, or chemical spill. You can’t always avoid them, but being prepared can help lessen the effects of these events on you, your family, or your business. September is National Preparedness Month, a nationwide and statewide effort to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, and schools.
Governor Peter Shumlin has proclaimed September Preparedness Month in Vermont and encourages Vermonters to take steps to prepare themselves for potential disasters.
“The events of Tropical Storm Irene and other destructive storms in the intervening two years showed the critical importance to Vermonters of preparing for any potential disaster,” the proclamation reads. “All Vermonters can take a few simple steps -– preparing a kit, making a plan, and being informed -– to mitigate the effects of a disaster and make citizen preparedness a priority in every community.”
Other ways to prepare during your normal routine:
On subsequent trips to the store buy extra cans of food, a reliable flashlight, extra batteries, and other essentials. Store those away with the water and in time your kit will be more and more complete and useful during an incident. The next time you are homebound during a storm or a flood you’ll be happy to have these items as you hunker down for an extended period.
The next time you talk to a relative from out of state, ask that person if he or she will be your emergency contact during an emergency. Your family may be separated during a disaster and unable to contact each other due to stress on local communication systems. Your out of state relative can be a central hub that everyone can call to coordinate reunification.
On a trip to the town office ask your Town Clerk or Manager where the community shelter may be. Or ask a friend who is a volunteer firefighter as he or she would be likely to know. Make note and think about how you would get there if there was flooding in your community.
Make an effort to do something today. No matter how simple it is, every step you take makes you more prepared to handle an emergency situation down the road.
For more preparedness tips you can download or request a copy of the VT DEMHS Family Preparedness Workbook at http://vem.vermont.gov/preparedness.
Other preparedness resources include:
Contact: Mark Bosma, Public Information Officer, Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, (800) 347-0488