A federal government initiative in the U.S. is front and center this September as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) calls for everyone to be prepared for the worst. National Preparedness Month is about being ready for any disaster.
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Federal officials say natural disasters cost the U.S. $165.1 billion in 2022. The most expensive disasters were Hurricane Ian, which had a $112.9 billion price tag, and the drought in the west, which resulted in $22.1 billion in damage. Other pricey disasters include tornados, hail storms, winter weather, and wildfires.
FEMA works to help prepare and respond to disasters, which include anything from a wildfire to a hurricane. The agency says these are the five basic steps you can take to get prepared:
- Figure out how to receive emergency alerts and warnings. It’s essential to have a device that can receive alerts, whether that be a phone or a weather radio.
- Have a shelter plan and make sure your family knows what to do in the event of a disaster. For instance, where in your home would you go if there was a tornado?
- You and your family should know the evacuation route if you must leave your home.
- Create a family communication plan for staying in contact with your loved ones.
- Above all, make sure your emergency-preparedness kit is updated. These kits should include things like medications and important documents.
Other things to remember include what to do with pets and having a food supply even for those with dietary restrictions. The list could go on, but starting a preparedness plan can make a critical difference in keeping everyone safe.
This year’s National Preparedness Month is looking to target underrepresented communities. FEMA is launching an ad campaign specifically for Black Americans to help bring more awareness about the impact of natural disasters.
Are you prepared for a disaster?
Check out Bear Grylls’ survival kit.