September is National Preparedness Month and all sorts of events are being planned to help people plan ahead so they can be ready to deal with an unexpected disaster. When these big disasters hit they are often fast and without sufficient warning to get prepared for them when they’re coming your way, so the time is now to prepare you and your family for this type of emergency. Later, you can decide if you need to take further steps to take care of your family after the event has happened (medical care, moving, etc.) as well as determining if you have legal action available for damages you have sustained.
Right now, it’s important to be prepared for the unknown.
For those living in Indiana or Illinois, this may not be a hurricane like those in New Jersey experienced with Hurricane Sandy or the current firestorm that people living near the big Yosemite Park fire in Northern California are facing, but there are many other kinds of events which organizations like FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) identify as potential disasters that everyone should be prepared against, including:
- Natural Disaters (Floods, Severe Weather, Thunderstorms and Lighting, Wildfires, and Winter Storms/Extreme Cold)
- Technological and Accident Hazards (Blackouts, Hazardous Materials Incidents, Household Chemical Emergencies, Nuclear Power Plants)(map of Illinois’ Nuclear Power Plants)
- Terrorist Hazards (Biological Threats, Chemical Threats, Cyber Attack, Explosions, Nuclear Blast, Radioactive Dispersion Device)
Illinois and Indiana Disasters Tracked by FEMA
This year, Illinois residents have suffered from severe storms with flooding and powerful winds and in May 2013 this event was given a federal Major Disaster Declaration. Past years have also seen Illinois suffering similar natural disasters – including tornadoes back in 2009.
Indiana, likewise, has experienced several disasters coming in the form of severe storms, with flooding, high winds, and tornadoes. Fortunately, no event has warranted being recognized as a Major Disaster by the federal government this year.
Indiana Homeland Security Survey Underway – How Prepared is Indiana?
This week, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) began making sure that Indiana citizens are aware of these disaster possibilities and ready to deal with any of these events, should they hit, by conducting an online survey to check what residents know and what steps they have take to be prepared in the event of an emergency.
You can take the ten minute online survey at the IDHS website’s Featured Topics Section: “IDHS Citizen Preparedness Survey 2013.”
“Being ready for a major disaster is very important and the basics of a kit can be put together without a lot of effort or money,” said IDHS Senior Public Information Officer John Erickson. “Having a preparedness kit can make the aftermath of an emergency or disaster easier for individuals and emergency responders. We hope that this survey will remind Hoosiers of the importance of being prepared and what they can do to improve their level of preparedness.”
Preparing Your Family for An Unexpected Disaster
FEMA has prepared a YouTube video to help families prepare in advance for times when their lives may be uprooted due to an unexpected event, explaining how to put together a Family Emergency Preparedness Kit: watch it here.