National Preparedness Month: Preparing for disaster is everyone’s job
By Brian Hilton, College Station Emergency Management Coordinator
All sectors of society – businesses, civic groups, industry associations, neighborhood associations and individual citizens – should plan ahead for natural and man-made disasters. Knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.
In the first few hours or days following a disaster, essential services may not be available and people must be ready to act on their own. With September being National Preparedness Month, it’s the perfect time to review the emergency plans for your family or business.
With the theme “Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare,” National Preparedness Month establishes four universal building blocks of preparedness. Click each of these for useful tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):
Preparation makes a difference
When Americans prepare and practice for an emergency in advance, it makes a real difference in their ability to take immediate and informed action, and recover faster. The College Station Division of Emergency Management provides the following disaster guides to help you be prepared for whatever comes our way:
- Every Business Should Have a Plan
- Family Disaster Plan
- Disaster Supplies Kit
- Chemical Emergencies at Home
- Evacuation and Sheltering
- Fires, Residential
- Fires, Wildland
- Floods and Flash Floods
- Food and Water
- Hazardous Materials Incidents
- Heat Waves
- Home Safety
- Hurricanes and Tropical Storms
- Pets in Disasters
- Post-Disaster Safety
- Talking to Children About Disasters
- Winter Storms
The blog I posted in April outlines the best ways to get information during emergency situations in the Brazos Valley, including some useful apps for your smartphone or other mobile device. This video featuring Dave South – the Voice of the Aggies – has much of the same information.
Being prepared for disasters is a shared responsibility that takes the entire community working together to effectively prepare for, respond to, and recover from the destructive forces of nature and other emergencies and disasters.
If you have any questions about how to prepare for an emergency or disaster situation, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
Brian Hilton has been the City of College Station’s emergency management coordinator since 2003, when he retired as sergeant first class after 20 years in the United States Army. He also serves on the Homeland Security Advisory Committee for the Brazos Valley Council of Governments. Originally from Fort Wayne, Ind., Hilton attended Columbia College in Columbia, Mo.