September is National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month, and after the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey and with Hurricane Irma approaching in the Atlantic, it is crucial that families on Long Island are ready before disaster strikes. The Long Island region is vulnerable to extreme weather – we are still recovering nearly five years after Superstorm Sandy. compiles in one place preparedness tips, recovery resources, activities for children and weather maps to help Long Islanders before, during, and after an emergency.

Disaster can strike at any time, so BeReadyLI is sharing the top five tips to being prepared and staying safe:

  1. Have a plan. The entire family should sit down together to develop an emergency plan, including knowing important phone numbers, setting a meeting spot outside of the home, and sharing contact information for someone you trust outside of your home in case your family is separated. Implement and practice your plan throughout the year so that it stays fresh in everyone’s mind. It is crucial to follow mandatory evacuation orders, and having this plan in place will make leaving easier and safer.
  2. Pack a kit. An emergency kit should be packed and ready to go at a moment’s notice. If your power goes out suddenly, or you are forced to quickly evacuate you won’t have time to gather supplies and you could be left without an essential item. At minimum, your kit should include unperishable food, water, a flashlight with extra batteries, an extra copy of any important documents in plastic, cash, and a radio.
  3. Consider special needs. For households with elderly family members, young children, or those with special medical needs, extra steps need to be taken to ensure safety. Children should be taught their first and last names, as well as the whole names of their caregivers. Those with medical needs should pack extra medication in case of an evacuation, as well as any equipment they need such as wheelchairs or oxygen.
  4. Pets are family too. Don’t forget your pets when preparing. Every dog and cat should have a collar with up-to-date tags, and a folder with their vaccination records. Put an extra bag of pet food in your emergency kit, along with a leash or carrier/crate. Never leave your pet behind if you must evacuate, if it’s not safe for you it’s not safe for them.
  5. Prepare your house. Not every emergency requires an evacuation, sometimes officials may recommend to shelter in place. If a storm is headed your way, secure any outdoor items that could be picked up and thrown by the wind and close all of your windows and doors. Stock up on food that does not need to be cooked or kept cold and determine a wind-safe area of your home away from windows, doors and outside walls to put as much space between you and the outside wind as possible.

Read more about these tips, and others on our Preparedness page.

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