National Preparedness Month aims to spread awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies. In 2004, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) created this month of recognition in response to 9/11 and elected September because of its proximity to the Atlantic hurricane season.
Each year there is a new theme for National Preparedness month. Stemming from the increased vulnerability of seniors, 2023 focuses on preparing older adults for emergencies, specifically those who are more susceptible to significant life disturbances from disasters.
Everyone should acknowledge the severity of disasters and the importance of preparation. Even though these events can impact certain populations more than others, everyone can experience the effects of disasters. FEMA provides general preparation advisements on ready.gov.
FEMA also suggests educating yourself about what disasters may affect your area, knowing how to receive emergency alerts, and having a plan for you and your family in the case of required evacuation. By making a plan for a disaster, FEMA advises first discussing the following questions with your family, friends, or household:
- How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
- What is my shelter plan?
- What is my evacuation route?
- What is my family/household communication plan?
- Do I need to update my emergency preparedness kit?
Next, FEMA advises considering the specific needs of your household. These may be based on:
- The ages of those in your household.
- Any responsibilities for assisting others in your household.
- Locations that members of your household frequently visit.
- The dietary needs of those in your household.
- Any medical needs that require prescriptions or equipment.
- Disabilities and functional needs that may require specific equipment.
- The language(s) spoken by members of your household.
- Cultural or religious considerations.
- Pets or service animals.
Using this information, create a family emergency plan. Practice this plan with the members of your household, so you can act accordingly in the case of an emergency.
Additional information about planning for an emergency or disaster can be found on ready.gov. FEMA provides free materials that you can order in preparation for a potential emergency. They also have information about how to respond to various hazards. Emergencies could happen at any time, so it is vital to be adequately prepared to keep you and your family safe.
First Bank is here to support you with any banking needs that may be helpful in case of an emergency and to assist in developing a financial plan that accounts for potential disasters. Click here for more information about First Bank’s personal savings accounts!