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Raising Awareness to Prepare Families for Emergency Situations

 

Is YOUR family prepared in the event of a serious emergency? I”m not just talking about home fires (although you DO need a plan for that!).  I’m also referring to other kinds of emergencies like flooding, earthquakes, hurricane, tornadoes and even nuclear disasters.

Back in September 2001 (shortly after September 11th) there was a huge concern about a local nuclear plant and the possibility of it getting attacked by terrorists. We live in the 10-mile danger zone, meaning we are within 10-miles of the plant (sigh…).

The county tried to prepare the residents by issuing these tiny pills called the Potassium Iodine Pill or KIO3. Its suppose to saturate a healthy thyroid with “good Iodine” which  is suppose to prevent the thyroid from absorbing the bad Iodine that you can get from nuclear fallout. This is NOT exactly something I want to have to worry about. Especially if my kids are at school or my husband is at work and the pills are at home.

My husband and I have talked about our plan of action in case something happens to the nuclear plant. Obviously we’d need to get as far away from it as possible. My husband works on the opposite side of the river from where we live. For now our plan is to head upstate to my Father’s house, however I keep thinking we need to meet elsewhere, like in Vermont. The further we are from the plant the happier I’ll be.

Many people know what they “should” do in the event of an emergency but sometimes in a panic situation all that logic and planning can go out the door. It also helps that your entire family knows the “game plan” rather then JUST the adults. In the event of a serious emergency your children should also know what to do, especially if you are incapacitated in some way.

September is National Preparedness Month. The campaign kicked off on September 2, 2010 here in NYC with the launch of the Ready NYC: My Meeting Place Facebook application, which allows users to take the first step in making a plan by selecting and sharing your own meeting place withothers. This is great especially if you have a lot of family and friends you want to share your plan with. Even the Empire State Building in yellow, which is the signature color of the ReadyNYC logo & program.

Even if you do not live in New York City you can still take advantage of this great program. No matter where you live you can learn more about hte three major steps towards getting prepared. 

- Get an emergency supply kit. An emergency kit should include a first aid kit, flashlight and batteries, radio, enough food and water for everyone in your family for at least 3 days, plus other supplies. Don’t forget about child care products too like diapers and baby wipes. For a list of other supplies you should have in your kit please visit this link,  http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/get_prepared/supplies.shtml.

- Make a family emergency plan (which relates to the Facebook application).

- Be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and the appropriate response.  Details for the three steps can be found on the ReadyNYC website: http://www.readynyc.org.

The program, Get Ready NYC, is a collaboration between the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) of NYC and the Ad Council.

Even if you are not a New Yorker I encourage you to check out the valuable information and resources found on the Ready NYC website. Or you can look to see if your city or state has their own website on how to prepare in case of emergencies.

There is a FREE pocket guide that you can download to get you started. Just click on this link, http://nyc.gov/html/oem/html/ready/pocket_guide.shtml. It is available in five different languages.

Don’t forget about the “Meeting Place” application. You can find it on the NYC Office of Emergency Management’s Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/NYCemergencymanagement?ref=ts#!/NYCemergencymanagement?ref=ts.

 

Kimberly

*I was not compensated in any way for this post. I posted this information for the benefit of my site readers.

 

 

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About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family, five cats, dog, a tank full of fish and snails. She is also a freelance writer and photographer.