September is National Emergency Preparedness Month

With all of the disasters we have heard about and experienced over the last several months (tornados, derechos, hurricanes, flooding, fires, earthquakes, and now this unprecedented pandemic), we're reminded of how important it is to have a family disaster plan. Nobody likes to think about it and it can feel overwhelming, so start a plan breaking it down into manageable pieces.

Pandemic planning

  1. Supplies: Make sure you have enough toilet paper, sanitizer, disinfectant, a thermometer, and other essentials. (Who knew?)
  2. Plan: Think about your coronavirus exposure plan. How would you isolate if needed and would you have supplied what your family would need for 14-28 days if someone had to physically isolate or quarantine? Would you have a plan for caring for others, getting medicine and groceries? Would you have a plan for childcare or eldercare duties? Don't panic! Just consider what you would do if there was a need. Click here for more information.  
  3. Medication: Ideally, we should have a 1-month supply of prescription medication, as well as over-the-counter medications like cough suppressants and fever reducing drugs and medical supplies or equipment.
  4. Stay at Home Kit: Consider stockpiling some bottled water, food, and other supplies that you might need (diapers, personal hygiene items, formula, dog/cat food) depending on your situation.
  5. Support: Discuss options with trusted, family, friends, or neighbors so you have planned back-up. 

Planning for Natural Disasters

  1. Gather important papers and photos and in a safe place. Make copies to have records of these documents and important memories.
  2. Review your insurance coverage plans. 
  3. Back-up important computer files and store them in "the cloud" or on a thumb drive that you keep elsewhere.
  4. Document the contents of your house. One way is to use a video camera while walking through the house to record all your valuables (video inventory to store safely elsewhere).
  5. Create a family plan for where you will meet in case of various events.
  6. Make sure you have executed Advanced Directives for your medical care, and if you have not done so, talk to your primary care provider.
  7. Make a disaster supply kit you could take with you at a moment's notice. Include essentials like medications and important documents.
  8. Have an emergency contact sheet on your refrigerator and in your phone. Include names and contact information for each family member, birthdates, blood types, allergies, medical issues, and medications. 
  9. Secure an extra cell phone charger or battery pack.
  10. Start gathering disaster supplies a little at a time each visit to the store (smoke and carbon monoxide detector, fire extinguishers, first aid kit, flashlights, batteries, etc.)

There are many resources including:

Being prepared in advance is the best protection you can have for you and your family. If you are finding preparation triggers anxiety or that recent events have challenged your usual coping abilities, call Work/Life Connections-EAP at 615-936-1327 and make a confidential appointment.