Happy New Year! 2016 is into the first month already, have you thought about a New Year’s Resolution? For me, New Year’s means I am about to be a year older. My birthday is January 2nd and it always reminds me, not only is a New Year, but you are now a year older and I always hope wiser! Well, I have a simple idea for you this year. Do 1 Thing each month and be prepared this year in small steps each month. This is the perfect month to start, although you really can jump in anytime.
All of us at Do 1 Thing really believe that we are making a difference! Do 1 Thing has had a great 2015. First of all we were honored to see our Co-Founder and Current Chair Ms. Ronda Oberlin chosen as one of six women this year to be inducted into the 2015 International Women in Homeland Security and Emergency Management Hall of Fame. The 2015 Gala Dinner and Induction Ceremony that was held on Saturday, November 14, 2015 during the annual IAEM-USA 63rd Annual Conference & EMEX Exhibit, at the Paris Hotel, Clark County, Nevada. We had the honor of presenting at many conferences this year; the Michigan Safety Conference in Lansing, Michigan, The IAEM-USA 63rd Annual Conference & EMEX Exhibit, at the Paris Hotel, Clark County, Nevada, The Show Me Partnerships Conference, in Columbia City, Missouri, and many more presentations, panels and fairs. We continue to gain new users and we are excited to be able to provide updated news in our monthly reminders. We would not be here without our partners, and individuals who use our program. We believe that Emergency Preparedness Information should be free and accessible to everyone. We also were able to update our website this year, and debut Do 1 Thing Business in the print ready booklet. Above all we thank everyone who supports, promotes, and believes in being prepared ahead of an emergency.
The Goal of January is to Make a Plan: Understand what puts you at risk from disasters and take steps to lower your risk.
Then we give you three choices of small steps that you can take that is it. Choose 1 and repeat next month, and after this year is over, you and your family will be in a much better position then you were last year. Disasters change things. When an emergency happens you may have to decide what to do very quickly, while you are worrying about what might happen. By planning ahead, it will be easier to make the right decisions when the worst happens.
Choice 1: Plan what to do if you have to evacuate
- Choose two places for your family to meet. One should be right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, such as a fire. The other should be outside of your neighborhood, in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate.
- Decide where you would go and what route you would take to get there. You may choose to go to a hotel, stay with friends or family in a safe location, or go to a shelter. Hold evacuation drills at home. Practice getting out of the house quickly, and drive your planned evacuation route. The more you practice, the more confident you will be if you really have to evacuate.
- Plan ahead for your pets. Due to health concerns, pets are not allowed in Red Cross shelters. Keep a phone list of pet-friendly hotels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation route in case a designated pet shelter is not available. Contact your local humane society or animal shelter to ask if pet emergency shelters will be opened in a disaster.
Once you know what disasters could happen in your community, there are things you can do to lower your risk of injury or property damage. Here are some suggestions.
Tornado – Add a tornado safe room to your home, or add extra protection to an existing room to keep your family safe in a tornado. Look for FEMA publication 320 for more information.
Hurricane – Install hurricane shutters. Keep trees around your house trimmed to prevent damage from falling branches. Secure your soffits to make sure that they won’t provide a way for wind and water to get into your home. Make sure entryway doors have three hinges and a deadbolt lock.
Wildfire – Use fire-resistant building materials like shingles and siding. Cut back branches and brush within 30 feet of your home. Keep firewood at least 30 feet away. Check into the National Fire Protection Association’s Firewise program for more ideas.
Flood – Elevate your home above the base flood level or take steps to floodproof. Elevate your utilities above the base flood level. Make sure you have adequate flood venting. Use flood-resistant building materials when you build or remodel. Taking steps like these can lower your flood insurance rates.
Earthquake – Secure your furniture, appliances, and water heater to walls and floors. Install safety catches on cabinets and cupboard doors. Make sure your appliances are connected with flexible connections. Consider using a safety film on your windows or installing laminated glass to prevent injuries from broken glass.
It is important to know what types of disasters can happen where you are. Is your home in a floodplain? Are you in an area that has earthquakes? When are tornadoes most likely to happen? Knowing what disasters could happen can help you know how to be prepared and what to do. Contact your local American Red Cross or emergency management office to learn more about the disasters in your area.
Meet with your family or household members. Discuss how to prepare and respond to emergencies that are most likely to happen where you live, learn, work, and play. Identify responsibilities for each member of your household and plan to work together as a team. If a family member is in the military, plan how you would respond if they were deployed.
Talking About Disasters
Talking about disasters can be scary, especially with children, or with someone who may have difficulty coping with daily life. Be open and positive. The unknown often causes more anxiety than knowing the facts. Listen to what the individual has to say, learn how they feel and what they may be afraid of. Older people and people with disabilities may worry that asking for help during a disaster will take away their independence. Talk about different options for assistance and make a plan with them.
Now for more information on each of the steps and a free factsheet from www.do1thing.com a 501 (C) 3 I encourage you to visit our site! Here is the link to January’s Main page, where you can decide which type of Factsheet you would like to download, we have a regular one, a large print, a visual, and you can listen to them via Audio and 7 languages you can choose from!