Are You Ready? September is Preparedness Month
September is Preparedness Month, and the Red Cross is reminding Mainers to take a few minute and make sure your family is ready if an emergency strikes.
“You can’t always prevent something from happening, but you can minimize its impact,” says Dave Sheehan, Regional Disaster Program Officer for the Red Cross. “In Maine, two of the most common emergencies we encounter are home fires and power outages, particularly from storms.”
To help you prepare, the Red Cross offers the following tips.
• Ensure your home has working smoke alarms.
• Create an emergency escape plan with your family and practice it.
• Have a first aid kit in your home, car, boat, camp, etc.
• Build a disaster supply kit - water, flashlight with extra batteries, first aid kit, crank radio.
• Download the free Red Cross Emergency App.
• Consider your pets in any preparedness plans.
Hurricane season runs through November 30, with winter close behind. After the near-record snow we experienced last year, being ready before the forecast calls for heavy precipitation or severe weather makes good sense, according to Sheehan:
• Check your flashlights and battery supply. Avoid candles — they can be a fire hazard.
• Stock a supply of water for drinking and washing-up.
• Keep some cash on-hand in case ATMs and credit card processors are down.
• Conduct an inventory of items needed for infants (diapers, formula, etc.) or elderly family members (medications, etc.).
• Charge your cell phone, iPad, and other communication devices.
• Fill your tub with water (for flushing toilet).
• Test your generator and check for gas/oil.
• Gather basic tools for emergency work: hammer, nails, wrench, saw.
• Fill your vehicle with gas.
• Listen for, and heed any orders to evacuate.
Grab and go
Finally, prepare an emergency Go Bag in the event you have to make a quick exit. Include anything you may need if away from home for a couple of days:
• Emergency radio
• Contact information of family, friends, work, etc.
• Non-perishable food and water
• Pet food and medications