Benjamin Franklin might have been on to something. Through countless writings, including his autobiography, Franklin believed strongly in the core philosophy of improving oneself one step at a time. That same philosophy can apply to being prepared for an emergency.
While preparing for a disaster can sometimes seem overwhelming, Do 1 Thing, a non-profit organization that wants to help build stronger communities, has taken Franklin’s approach by urging people to prepare for emergencies one month at a time.
By simply doing one thing each month, by the time a year has passed, you will have taken big steps toward being ready for the unexpected. Below is Do 1 Thing’s list of 12 month-by-month easy and affordable suggestions — as well as recommendations from Ready Georgia — that you can take to ensure your family is prepared for the unknown.
January—Make a Plan: Disasters can happen. Devise a plan and make sure everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency. This is also a great time to start preparing your Ready kit.
February—Water: During a disaster, municipal and private drinking water sources may become contaminated. Having at least one gallon per person per day, for at least three days, for drinking and hygiene is essential.
March—Shelter: If a disaster strikes and you’re no longer able to stay in your home, do you know where you’ll go? Download the Ready Georgia mobile app so you can quickly find the nearest shelter to where you live.
April—Food: The key to good food storage is to plan ahead of time. Make sure you have at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food available.
May—Work & School: Disasters can happen anywhere and at any time so it’s important to have an understanding of what the emergency procedures are at your workplace. Also, learn the notification procedures at your child’s school and make sure your emergency contact information is up to date.
June—Family Needs: Does your child or loved one need a specific type of medication? Make a list of special items you’ll need in case of an emergency.
July—Family Communications Plan: Have multiple ways to contact your loved ones in an emergency, such as email, social media or texting. It may be easier to call someone out of state than to call across town, so be sure to identify a friend or relative that family members can contact to let them know they are safe. Keep in mind that you might not have access to your phone or computer during an emergency.
August—Get Involved: It takes more than just police and firefighters to respond during an emergency. Promote emergency preparedness in your community, or become a volunteer trained to help in emergency situations.
September—Be Informed: Do you have a NOAA weather radio with tone alert? Getting the correct information during an emergency is of paramount importance.
October—Power: Be sure to have a flashlight and a safe alternative heating source if the power goes out, and know how to keep food safe. Make sure you have an emergency charging option for your cell phone, such as a portable charger.
November—Emergency Supplies: These are the items that you’ll want to have in your Ready kit such as a flashlight, NOAA weather radio and food. Be sure to have a kit in your home and car.
December—First Aid Kit: Antibacterial wipes, band aids, gauze pads, aspirin and a space blanket are just some of the items you’ll want to include in your Ready Kit.
As you can see, building an emergency plan is not as difficult as you might have imagined. If you’re ready to do one thing each month, simply sign up on Do 1 Thing’s website. To help keep you on track, Do 1 Thing will send you an email reminder of each month’s topic and help you keep track of your progress. What a great way to kick of the New Year.