Emergency Preparedness

Individuals should take on the responsibility of being prepared to survive for three days on their own, to create evacuation and shelter plans for themselves and their families, and to get out of harm's way when necessary.  Community safety and personal preparedness is vital to the overall preparedness of the United States, and its ability to withstand and recover from natural disasters, man-made emergencies, economic downturns, and terrorist attacks.

Research on preparedness from ready.gov shows that people who believe themselves "prepared" for disasters often aren't as prepared as they think.
  • 40% of survey respondents did not have household plans
  • 80% had not conducted home evacuation drills
  • ~20% of survey respondents reported having a disability that would affect their capacity to respond to an emergency situation
Becoming more prepared in case of an emergency is easier than you might think.  Whether it's your home, your neighborhood, your place of business, or your school, you can take a few simple steps to prepare your community.

goals 2
Step 1: Set Goals
Setting goals helps you be accountable to yourself, family, and community.  Any of these activities get us one step closer to a safer and more resilient nation.  Get involved in National Preparedness Month activities in September.
Example Individual Goals
  1.  As an individual, I will commit to preparing myself and my family this year, including creating a family disaster plan and making sure there are emergency supply kits at my home, for my pet, at my place of work, and in my car.
  2.  As a family, we will assemble ____ emergency supply kits for others.
  3.  As an individual, I will talk to ____ friends, family members, neighbors, and co-workers about our personal responsibility to be prepared.
  4. As an individual/family, I will complete _____ training (life saving skills) 
Example Service Goals
  1. Help at least 3 people who may need additional assistance in preparing for emergencies (including the frail, elderly, individuals with disabilities, and others with special needs).
  2. Conduct a safety drill at home, at work, at school, or at your community organization.
  3. Take a training class in a lifesaving skill (CPR, first aid)- visit Greendale Park & Rec for offerings-
  4. Become an emergency preparedness volunteer with the Greendale Health Department

tech ready
Step 2: Get Tech Ready
Technology has made it easier than ever to prepare for emergencies, but it can be unreliable in an emergency if you haven't kept your gadgets protected and powered up.  Here are some tips to make sure you are tech ready. 

  1.  Use text messages, social media and email to connect with friends and family during emergencies.
  2.  Register with American Red Cross' Safe & Well site to let family and friends know you're okay.
  3.  Have an emergency charging option for your phone and other mobile devices.
  4.  Store important documents on a secure, password-protected jump drive or in the cloud.
  5.  Sign up for direct deposit and electronic banking through your financial institution so you can access your paycheck and make electronic payments wherever you are.

Step 3: Financial Preparedness
Americans at all income levels have experienced the challenges of rebuilding their lives after a disaster or other emergency.  In these stressful times, having access to personal financial, insurance, medical, and other records is crucial for starting the recovery process quickly and efficiently.  Some tips for financial preparedness include;

  1.   Gather financial and critical personal, household, and medical information.
  2. Consider saving money in an emergency savings account that could be used in any crisis.
  3. Keep a small amount of cash at home in a safe place.  It is important to have small bills on hand because ATMs and credit cards may not work during a disaster when you need to purchase necessary supplies, fuel or food.
  4. Obtain property (homeowners or renters), health and life insurance if you do not have them.  Be sure to review your policy to make sure the amount and types of coverage you have meets the requirements for all possible hazards.
  5.  For more helpful financial preparedness tips, download the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit to get started planning today.

Untitled design (1)
Step 3: Consider Special Situations
COVID-19 Scam Preparedness
  • Be cautious about sharing personal financial information, such as your bank account number, social security number, or credit card number.
  • Do not click on links in texts or emails from people you don’t know. Scammers can create fake links to websites. Visit government websites, like cdc.gov/coronavirus, directly in your internet browser.
    • Know that the government will not text or call you about “mandatory online COVID-19 tests,” outbreaks “in your area,” mandatory vaccinations, or to sell you COVID-19 cures.
    • Remember that the government will not call or text you about owing money or receiving economic impact payments.
    • Be aware that scammers may try to contact you via social media. The government will not contact you through social media about owing money or receiving payments.
  • If you have been exposed to COVID-19, a contact tracer from your local health department might call you to let you know and ask you to self-quarantine at home away from others. Discussions with health department staff are confidential. They will not ask for financial information.
  • Keep in mind that scammers may try to take advantages of financial fears by calling with work-from-opportunities, debt consolidation offers, and student loan repayment plans.
  • Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at ftc.gov/complaint if you receive messages from anyone claiming to be a government agent or if you believe you’ve been a victim of a COVID-19 related scam.
Home Fire Escape Plan
Creating and practicing a home fire escape plan is simple.  Follow the steps below to make sure everyone in your home is prepared and knows what to do in case of a home

  1.  Make a written home fire escape plan and practice getting out in under 2 minutes
  2.  Make sure you have smoke alarms on every level of your home and in each bedroom- test them twice a year.
  3.  Learn the best practices for home fire safety and fire safety with children.
Preparedness for Businesses
There is much that a business leader can do to prepare his or her organization for the most likely hazards.  The Ready Business program helps business leaders make a preparedness plan to get ready for hazards and emergencies.

Helping Children Cope with Disaster
Children can feel very frightened during a disaster and afterwards some children will show temporary changes of behavior.  Factors that contribute to greater vulnerability
  • direct exposure to the disaster, such as being evacuated, seeing injured or dying people, being injured themselves, and feeling that their own lives are threatened.
  • personal loss- death or serious injury of a family member, close friend, or family pet.
  • on-going stress from the secondary effects of disaster- temporary living, losing things, job loss, etc.
  • prior exposure to disaster or other traumatic events.
You can help a child cope with disaster by taking the following actions;

  1.   Encourage your children to talk and listen to their concerns.
  2.  Calmly provide factual information about the disaster and plans for insuring their ongoing safety.
  3.  Involve your children in updating your family disaster plan and disaster supplies kit.
  4.  Practice your plan.
  5.  Involve your children by giving them specific tasks to let them know they can help restore family and community life.
  6.  Spend extra time with your children.
  7.  Re-establish daily routines for work, school, play, meals, and rest.

For more preparedness information, go to:
http://www.ready.gov/  http://emergency.cdc.gov/ or http://www.redcross.org/prepare        

Para informacion en Espanol: Resource Library | Ready.gov