(Victor Valley) – Recent events like earthquakes in parts of the country that do not usually see them, or hurricanes and tropical storms hitting the US, even the recent Hill Fire that roared through parts of Oak Hills may have Victor Valley residents thinking about what to do in the event of an emergency. September has been designated as National Preparedness Month and is designed to encourage all of us to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in our homes, businesses, and communities.
As we know too well, disaster can strike at any time without warning. The California Emergency Management Agency, or Cal EMA, encourages all Californians to be prepared for when – not if – the next emergency will occur.
Check out the tips and resources listed below for important information you can use to protect yourself, your family, and your property. Preparedness is a responsibility we all share. Let’s do our part.
- Identify Your Risk – What are the hazards where you live or work? Find out what natural or human caused disasters pose a risk for you. Do you live near a flood plain, an earthquake fault, or in a high fire danger area? Are you prepared for an unexpected human-made disaster that can strike any time? Does your neighborhood or community have a disaster plan?
- Create a Family Disaster Plan – Your family needs a plan that tells everyone: where to meet if you have to evacuate; who you’ve identified as an out-of-state “family contact”; how to get emergency information in your community; and how to take care of your family pets.
- Practice Your Disaster Plan – After you sit down with your family and write your plan — practice it. Start by having family members meet at a designated spot outside your home — like you would after a fire or after the shaking stops. Know how to respond in the event of any disaster — whether to stay put indoors, or whether to evacuate your neighborhood by car. If your family needs to evacuate, know the proper evacuation procedures and routes as determined by your local OES office.
- Build a Disaster Supply Kit for Your Home – If you are stranded in your car or have to be self-sufficient at home until help arrives, you need to have a disaster kit with you.
- Prepare Your Children – Talk to your kids about what the risks are and what your family will do if disaster strikes.
- Don’t Forget Those with Special Needs – Infants, seniors and those with special needs must not be forgotten. Make sure that supplies for your infant are in your kit and that you have items such as medications, oxygen tank, or other medical supplies that seniors or those with special needs may require. Check out Cal EMA’s tips for preparing the elderly.
- Learn CPR and First Aid – Contact you local chapter of the American Red Cross today and get trained on basic first aid and CPR. Your training could save the life of a loved one or neighbor following a disaster.
- Eliminate Hazards in Your Home and the Workplace – You must secure the contents of your home or office to reduce hazards, especially during shaking from an earthquake or from an explosion.
- Understand Post-9/11 Risks – Disaster preparedness must now account for man-made disasters as well as natural ones. Knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.
- Get Involved, Volunteer – Donate blood, join a local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), educate your neighbor, or volunteer with your local American Red Cross.
Visit Cal EMA’s website for more information.