Fema News Photo
Despite hard hitting natural disasters such as the Montecito Mudslides, Hurricanes Florence and Michael, and California wildfires in the past year, as many as 48% of Americans do not have emergency supplies set aside, let alone an emergency plan. Although not on the same scale of destruction and loss, Hampton Roads is not immune to its own set of natural disasters. Just think of our area’s record breaking snow storms, tornados, Hurricane Irene, and even our own 5.8-magnitude earthquake.
Since 2004, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been actively promoting National Preparedness Month to encourage Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities. This September is National Preparedness Month. Are you prepared?
Emergency Preparedness for Individuals and Families
According to the US Census Bureau’s 2013 American Housing Survey, 65.1% of adults do not have a communication plan in place. Do not rely on your cell phone during a disaster. Your family may not be together so it is important to have a communication plan in advance.
TIP: Download the Family Communication Plan for Parents and Kids (PDF)
Here are a few recommendations to help you create an emergency plan:
- Don’t rely on your phone to store important phone numbers. Complete a contact card for each family member. Have them keep these cards handy in a wallet, purse or briefcase, backpacks or book bags.
- Identify a contact who lives out-of-state for household members to notify they are safe. During a disaster, it may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than a local call.
- Be sure every family member has a cell phone, coins or a prepaid phone card to make emergency calls.
- Identify a designated meeting place, and make sure everyone knows how to get there.
- Create an emergency supply kit. Have supplies on hand to last each person at least three days. To learn more about what you should have in your kit visit: http://www.vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia/getakit
- Sign up to get emergency alerts via cell phone and email at: http://www.capitalert.gov.
Emergency Preparedness for Businesses and Organizations
Studies show that up to 40% of businesses do not reopen after a disaster. How quickly a company is able to get back to business after a disaster often depends on emergency planning and preparation done before the disaster strikes. Is your business ready?
As part of FEMA’s Ready Campaign, experts highlight three steps to Business Disaster Preparedness:
- Plan to Stay in Business
- Talk to Your People
- Protect Your Investment
TIP: Rate your business’s readiness with the American Red Cross’ free Ready Rating tool at: http://www.readyrating.org.
Here are a few steps to get your emergency businesses preparedness plan started:
- Make a building evacuation plan and schedule regular times throughout the year to practice.
- Identify evacuation routes from the office.
- Plan how to support employees if they cannot go home.
- Have appropriate emergency supplies on hand.
- Document how to protect the site, equipment, and all other contents, including vehicles.
- Keep a list of all useful and applicable business contacts including emergency and repair services.
- Create a business continuity plan that contains important phone numbers and strategies for continuing business if the workplace is unavailable.
TIP: Download a sample businesses preparedness plan at:
At Virginia Beach insurance company WBR Insurance we offer a full portfolio of policies. We pride ourselves in establishing personal relationships with our customers to assist you in protecting what matters most. To get a free quote for your Virginia Beach insurance needs, give us a call at 757-340-0028 or visit our website www.WBRInsurance.com.
#disasterpreparedness #NatlPrep #PrepareAthon #wbrinsurance #floodsmart