September is National Preparedness Month. Maybe you’ve heard. Why does that matter? Well, just in the past six weeks, Americans have experienced an exceptional number and variety of natural disasters. Wildfires in California, floods in Louisiana, tornados in Indiana, a hurricane in Florida and Georgia, a tropical storm in Hawaii and an earthquake in Oklahoma. The Salvation Army was serving in the community before the storm hit, and is still there continuing to help those in need.
We were ready because the mission of The Salvation Army is to alleviate suffering. The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) rolled into various Louisiana communities with 22 Canteens (mobile feeding units) and provided 166,483 meals, 190,988 drinks and 86,491 snacks to responders and community members following the flood in August. An additional 14,571 meals, 14,325 drinks and 14,633 snacks have been provided in the aftermath of Hurricane Hermine, which is still being cleaned up by local and out-of-state Salvation Army volunteers and officers.
But readiness, preparedness, isn’t just for organizations like The Salvation Army. It’s an individual responsibility, too. Individuals and families have the capacity, and the responsibility, to make sure they and their loved ones are safe.
That’s why we’re spreading the word about the personal and community emergency preparation tools provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Videos, charts, checklists and planning ideas are all provided in an effort to make preparedness easy for everyone. There are even games to get children involved in the planning.
The first steps are to make a plan and build a kit. So, what should a three-day emergency kit include?
As individuals, families and communities take the steps necessary to prepare for emergencies, they become a strength to those around them and the capacity to provide relief following emergencies and disasters is increased.
To find out how you, your family and your community can prepare for disasters all year long, go to www.ready.gov.Disaster Services