September is Preparedness Month and your Disaster Resource and Response Team brings you a wealth of resources. We offer you a bulletin insert prepared by team member Judie O'Donnell and other links and resources pertaining to creating an emergency 'grab and go' kit.
Preparation is a part of our daily lives. We make lunches ahead to take to work or school. We set up our boxes of pills for the week. We decide what to wear for the day to be suitable for the weather conditions that day. In preparing for emergencies, we gather supplies that will help us to meet needs that are not typically part of our daily lives. For example, during a power outage, we need flashlights to navigate safely in the dark and food that can be eaten without usual cooking equipment such as stoves or a microwave.
Our bulletin insert highlights many critical items to include in an emergency kit for you and your family. In building your emergency kit, it is important to consider your unique needs and the needs of others in your family. Every emergency kit should have copies of important documents such as social security cards, birth certificates, insurance policies stored on a flash drive or paper copies stored in a protected case. Churches can support members by helping members to scan documents and learn how to save scans to a flash drive.
For people who are living with disabilities or have access, function and health needs, it is vital to have at least a seven day supply of medications, needed medical equipment and supplies, and necessary adaptive tools for daily tasks. Wearing medical alert bracelets or other identification is especially helpful during an emergency.
It is important to make an individualized assessment of what support you would need in the event of a disaster. More detailed information about how to do a personal assessment of needs and develop a support network to meet those needs are available here as well important items to have in your kit based on those assessments are available at these links:
For pets, in addition to including a seven day supply of food and bottled water, their emergency kits should include copies of your pet’s medical records, a carrier, extra leash, toys, a blanket, litter, feeding and water bowls, recent photos of your pet (even selfies with your pets). The ASPCA recommend making sure that your pets have ID tags and collars, pets be microchipped when possible. You may want to have pet rescue alert stickers on your home’s window or doors so emergency responders know your pets are there. These stickers can be updated to show your pets are with you if you evacuate.
Fuller pet preparedness information is available at the following links:
Here's a 40 second video you can show or link to through your church's social media platforms:
Lucy Costa is a recovery caseworker with the American Red Cross of Massachusetts. She has been a volunteer with the Red Cross since 2005 when she deployed to Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. She also is a longtime member of Old South Church in ...