Preparedness is a year round activity. However, September is the month for recognizing national preparedness. National Preparedness Month (NPM) is geared towards building awareness and encouraging Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, schools, organizations, businesses and places of worship. NPM is managed and sponsored by FEMA.
Basic Preparedness Steps:
- Stay Informed about types of emergencies that can occur and know the appropriate responses.
- Knowing about local emergency plans for shelter and evacuation and local emergency contacts will help you prepare for a possible event and will also aid you during an event.
Make a Family Emergency Plan:
- You may not be together as a family when an emergency happens. Consider what to do if there is no access to cell phones, gas stations, grocery stores, ATMs, etc.
- Identify a common out-of-town contact for your family
- Know school and work plans
- Identify meeting places
- Visit http://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/FamEmePlan_2013.pdf for a family emergency plan template
- Build a Kit
- Disasters can happen anywhere and at anytime. Be prepared with emergency supplies kits in the places where you and your family spend large amounts of time – at work, in your car, at home, etc.
- Visit http://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/checklist_1.pdf for an emergency supply list template
Get Involved – Become a Volunteer:
- C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team): CERT is a 20-hour training class that includes Disaster Preparedness, Disaster Psychology, Team Organization, Fire Safety, Light Search & Rescue, Terrorism Awareness, Triage, CPR, and First Aid. Training is conducted by certified FEMA instructors, and is available to residents (community) and local businesses that are serious about preparing for any type disaster. Call 247-7618 for the latest schedule.
- Citizens on Patrol and Neighborhood Watch: These programs are managed by the Apple Valley Police Department. Please call 240-7400 for additional information.
- E.C.S. (Emergency Communication Services): Formerly known as R.A.C.E.S., the Apple Valley E.C.S. Team has been in existence for over ten years. They are one of the most active E.C.S. groups in the County of San Bernardino, achieving the distinguished honor as the 2003 County Fire Chiefs Organization of the Year. E.C.S. members are ham radio operators who are tasked with providing communications during an emergency, and are activated any time day or night. Interested volunteers should call 247-7618 for additional information.
- F.A.D.D. (Friends of Animals During Disasters): This is a new volunteer group in Apple Valley tasked with the overwhelming responsibility of helping the Town of Apple Valley Animal Control Department with evacuations and emergency shelter care during a disaster. Call 247-7618 to sign-up.