September: National Preparedness Month

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Gary Lund
  • 960th Cyberspace Operations Group Safety Office

With the recent events that have taken place in both Texas with Hurricane Harvey and Florida with Hurricane Irma, this is the perfect time to talk about disaster preparedness. There are several precautions that you can take in order to prepare for a natural disaster. 

First, precaution would be to develop a Survival Kit. A survival kit includes items such as water, food, blankets, flashlights, batteries, matches, candles, and a first aid kit. Another precaution to take would be to practice evacuation procedures with yourself, your family, and any pets you may have. Another great precaution to take would be to develop a Group Contact listing of your close family and friends, in order to keep in touch before, during, and after a natural disaster.

In this day and age, it's good advice to not wait until the next disaster to prepare yourself with supplies. You never know what will happen today, tomorrow, next week, next month, or even next year. Know where your shut-off valves are located for your gas, electricity, and water.  If you receive a warning for a forthcoming disaster, you do not want to worry about any kind of chemical or gas leak in your area of residence. If you don’t know where your shut-off valves are, contact your utility company so they can help you locate these valves for shut-off purposes.

As soon as you receive a disaster warning, the first thing you should think about is how you’re going to survive when this disaster takes place. Your personal emergency action plan should be ready to execute. An emergency action plan should contain a first aid kit, financial savings, drill procedures, and access to resources in your community (food banks, shelter, and mission) in a worst case scenario. Emergency Savings is a must in these disastrous situations. You never know when you’ll run short on physical funds and when you’ll need access to additional funds.

In the state of Texas, several coastal cities such as Corpus Christi, Houston, Beaumont, Port Aransas, and Galveston were hit with Hurricane Harvey in late August. The preparation level of each individual and family in these cities were different based on their warning levels.

Natural disasters can happen at any time of the year, not just in summer months. Texas weather can be very unpredictable, so be prepared for the worst while you’re working and living your everyday life.  By staying on top of disaster preparedness, keeping yourself well equipped, and increasing your awareness, you’ll greatly increase your chances of surviving the next natural disaster that takes place, whenever that may be.