National Preparedness Month
September is National Preparedness Month, part of the ongoing "Ready"1 initiative of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). According to FEMA's "Are You Ready"2 guide, the first step in effective disaster preparedness is to understand your specific risks - first by identifying the hazards that could possibly affect you and then by evaluating your actual vulnerability to those sources of danger.
"Once you understand your risks, you can effectively plan to mitigate them by decreasing your vulnerability and then manage their consequences quickly and effectively if the worst does happen," says disaster mitigation specialist Cory Sullins of SERVPRO® of Sumner County. "Of course, individual home or business owners' risks vary depending on their location, but regardless of where you live or work, FEMA's guide has some basic steps that everyone can take to prepare for the unexpected."
- Create a family communication and shelter plan.
- Sign up for emergency alerts, including FEMA alerts3.
- Build your savings if possible and keep a small emergency fund of cash on-hand at home.
- Create an Emergency Financial First Aid Kit4: Gather and safeguard critical documents like deeds, medical information, insurance policies, and a list of your household belongings.
- Create an emergency kit5 with basic tools and enough food and water to last 72 hours and keep the contents fresh and up to date.
In addition to the planning tools and checklists provided by FEMA, businesses like SERVPRO that specialize in disaster mitigation and restoration offer free tools that make disaster recovery easier. The free SERVPRO READY app6 allows home and business owners to store essential contact and property information electronically where it can be accessed in seconds with a mobile device.
Local business owners who designate SERVPRO of Sumner County as their disaster mitigation and restoration provider benefit from a no-cost assessment of their facility along with help completing a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) to be stored in the READY app.
"The uncomfortable truth is that no amount of preparedness will prevent disasters from striking, but preparedness can help disaster victims survive and then recover," says Sullins. "When disaster strikes, sometimes it's difficult to even know where to start picking up the pieces. Having critical documents and details at your fingertips helps, but so does having access to professionals who know how to help you return to normal, "Like it never even happened." The disaster remediation specialists at SERVPRO of Sumner County know what to do when you don't know which way to turn. We're here to help when you need us."