Sure it’s a cliché, but when talking preparedness the old adage “Better safe than sorry” is fitting. There is rarely advance notice of an earthquake, a terrorist attack or a tornado before it flattens homes, destroys infrastructure or displaces entire communities. And even when an emergency or disaster is anticipated, who can truthfully say that they’re ready for anything?
In the end, the “best offense is a good defense.” Your efforts now can make all the difference when emergency or disaster strikes. Take the time to browse the Plan, Prepare, Inquire and Inspire resource pages and links, and to reflect on the state of your own readiness. Natural disasters and emergencies come in different sizes and affect different consequences. Whether it’s a wildfire in northern Arizona, flash flooding in Phoenix or broiling summer temperatures, every Arizonan needs to take precautions; every Arizonan needs to prepare.
Write and rehearse family evacuation and communication plans that identifies a family meeting place, accounts for individuals' unique needs, and includes local emergency numbers and an Out-of-Town Contact. If you have neither a contact nor a plan, download a free template from AzEIN.
Gather enough supplies to sustain you and your family for at least three days. Suggested kit items include first aid supplies, nonperishable food, drinking water (one gallon/per person/per day), prescriptions, a flashlight with extra batteries, copies of important documents and a weather radio.
Know the hazards in your community. Ask school administrators and your employer to see evacuation plans and preparedness procedures. Listen to/watch local and national weather and news coverage, and learn to use everyday technologies (e.g., the internet and mobile phones) to stay connected in an emergency.
Be a preparedness example for your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers. Give blood or take a basic first aid course and invite others to join you. Share what you’ve learned about personal and family preparedness and find ways to involve others in the preparations.