20 Hours of Preparation by Diana Luetkemeyer
Did you know?
- Only 57% of people report that they have readiness items set aside in their homes for use in a disaster
- Just 34% of people have readiness supplies in their car
- Less than half of households have an emergency plan and yet…
- 42% of individuals report that they would need help during a disaster
So this past weekend, I spent 20 hours of learning more about emergency preparedness through the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training program. The best thing about it, that it was FREE! The CERT training was developed in the 1980′s by the Los Angeles Fire Department. In 2003, it was adopted by other states as a result of 9-11. It is offered for free to the American public.
CERT training is designed to prepare you to help yourself, your family and your neighbors in the event of a catastrophic disaster. Because emergency personnel will not be able to help everyone immediately, you can make a difference by utilizing the CERT training. Topics that were covered in the training were disaster preparedness, fire safety, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue, CERT organization, disaster psychology, and terrorism.
As a productive member of my community, I believe it is very important to be prepared in the event of any emergency. Living in the heart of the Midwest, we seem to be having more tornadoes as of late. A few years ago, we had severe ice storms that shut off the power to homes in the area for up to a week and even longer in some older neighborhoods. What about that unforeseen medical emergency that usually happens in the middle of the night to someone in your immediate or extended family? Are you prepared for those incidents?
I’m not suggesting we go clear out the shelves at Schnucks or load up on five years of Ramen noodles, but what I am suggesting is that it is our responsibility as heads of households to put together some basic items so that our families are not completely unprepared in the case of any emergency. First and foremost, do you have water on hand. The recommendations recently changed from three days to five days of water for each member of your household (including pets as they are members too!), one gallon per day per family member. By just doing this one thing, you become a little more prepared. Have you created a family disaster plan? By adding this plan, you may save a life in the event of a house fire. I could go on and on, but I don’t want to overwhelm.
Therefore, the goal is to do just a little bit at a time. Doing something is better than doing nothing at all. Start by getting two days of water supplies for your family on your next trip to Walmart. Next, talk with you family about how they would exit your home in case of a fire. Another week, check to make sure your smoke detectors are working properly.
Freedom Organization offers emergency preparedness as part of the services we provide. We specialize in emergency preparedness and can help you and your family prepare with the stuff you already have at home. By doing a little at a time, you are doing your part so that you are better prepared for your family and your community when an emergency occurs.