Each year, FEMA’s Ready Campaign promotes Resolve to be Ready, a public awareness drive that encourages individuals and community leaders to make the resolution to put together a family communications plan, and take other simple steps to be prepared.
Roughly half of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions and commit to improving their lifestyles or reaching a long-term goal. This year, why not make a resolution that is easy to keep – and can save lives and protect property. For 2012, Resolve to be Ready for emergencies by taking simple steps to prepare your family, your home, your business, and your community in the face of potential disaster.
Our Resolve to Be Ready Toolkit contains ways you can engage your family, friends, employees and constituents to make this important New Year’s resolution. We encourage you to utilize the enclosed products for your office’s Website, posters, sample e-mails and articles that you can share. So why not make a Resolution that can make a difference when disaster strikes. Learn how at www.Ready.gov/Resolve.
2011 has seen more billion-dollar natural disasters than any year on record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. Major storms from Hurricane Irene, which battered the U.S. East Coast, to the spring tornadoes that brought devastation from Wisconsin to Texas, we don’t know where or when emergencies or disasters will strike. During the first 11 months of this year there have been 97 major disasters declared.
Now is the time to think about basic needs you, your family and your pets will need in advance of an emergency; how will you communicate, what supplies you need to keep in your home, car or office. The more you know about what to do in an emergency, the more confident and secure you will feel in your abilities to manage through a disaster.
You can start by taking these simple steps:
> Be informed. Know the hazards and risks in your area. And learn what you need to do to get ready for them.
> Make a family emergency plan, so you know how you would communicate with and find your loved ones if a disaster hit. For example, think about how you would reach your kids at school. Your spouse at work. If you had to evacuate, where would you go. Thinking this through in advance will make a big difference.
> Build an emergency supply kit – both at home and in the car – that includes water, food and first aid supplies to help you survive if you lose power or get stranded in your car. This is especially important for dealing with icy roads and snowstorms this winter.
> Get Involved – Be an advocate and educator for safety and emergency preparedness within your community. Contact your local Citizen Corps.
Using modern-day technology can help individuals and families prepare, adapt and recover from disruptions brought on by emergencies or disasters. FEMA reminds all Americans to implement the following in advance of an emergency:
> Learn how to send updates via text and internet from your mobile phone to your contacts and social channels in case voice communications are not available;
> Store your important documents such as personal and financial records in the cloud or on a secure and remote area or flash or jump drive that you can keep readily available so they can be accessed from anywhere; and
> Create an Emergency Information Document at Ready.gov by using the Family Emergency Plan template in Google Docs or by downloading the Ready Family Emergency Plan to record your emergency plans.
History has shown us that the government can’t do it alone when it comes to preparing for, responding to, and recovering from disasters. FEMA is only part of our nation’s emergency management team – along with our other federal partners, state and local governments, non-profit and voluntary organizations, the private sector and most importantly: the public.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.