National Preparedness Month Helps In A Disaster

Around the state, and the nation, emergency management and health departments are sharing tips for September: National Preparedness Month. Each week of the month focuses on a different aspect of preparedness.

“There are four weeks recognized during the month of September for National Preparedness Month one of them, the first one, is make a plan,” says Melissa DeRoche, Central Michigan District Health Department Emergency Preparedness Coordinator.

The first week, Making a Plan, goes from September 1-4. People are encouraged to talk to their friends and family about what to do in an emergency or natural disaster. All plans should be updated with COVID-19 safety recommendations. Making a plan can be simple if you do one thing each month of the year.

“I think of the easiest things to do is to create a wallet sized card or they have them available online and just simply fill in your contact information and the name of one or two of your emergency contacts,” says DeRoche.

Week 2 is September 5-11: Build a Kit.

“Aside from the standard food and water some of the other things that are suggested to put in your kit are copies of important papers in case you have to evacuate your home,” says DeRoche.

Important papers can include anything needed in the event the house is destroyed. Packing up important papers in a folder, somewhere safe, is a great step toward being prepared.

This week, September 12-18, is preparedness steps that cost little to nothing. This could be checking your insurance to see if it covers potential damages.

“Maybe it’s a great time to look at your renter’s insurance, your homeowner’s insurance policy do you have what you need that fits your area,” says DeRoche. “Often times people may move to a different location with different disasters that may affect them.”

Often times, renter’s don’t have or think they need renter’s insurance. In the event of severe weather damage, it is common for personal items to not be protected under the property owner’s insurance.

The fourth week – the final step towards preparedness – is teaching kids about what it means to be prepared.