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September Is National Preparedness Month

on Wednesday, 09 September 2015. Posted in Blog, Commercial, Pre-Disaster Planning, Residential

September Is National Preparedness Month
September has been observed as National Preparedness Month since 2004 as part of a government effort to increase the nation’s readiness in the case of emergencies. Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), this year’s theme is “Don't Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.” The purpose behind this awareness event is to remind everyone to renew their commitment to readiness for the good of the entire community.
It sounds great in theory - be prepared in case of an emergency - but you may not know what you need to do to ensure that you are indeed prepared and covered.

Here are a few questions you may be asking yourself this month:

What is disaster preparedness?

Disaster preparedness is a continuous process of ensuring that an organization has adhered to preventative measures. It’s important that in the event of a disaster, an organization is in the state of readiness that minimizes loss of life, injury, and damage to property. It’s also about making sure that an organization can provide rescue, relief, rehabilitation, and other services following a disaster. Finally, disaster prep ensures an organization has the capability and resources to continue to keep up its essential functions without being overwhelmed by the demand placed on them.

Why does it affect me?

Disaster preparedness affects everyone from pets and children to families and businesses, communities, cities, states, and nations. Emergencies come in various forms. They can occur in your home, your church, your school, your office, even a hotel you’re staying at while traveling. On a larger scale, it can affect an entire state or nation. All disasters have one thing in common, though - the timing is always unexpected. From bursting pipes and floods to fires and natural disasters, you never know when an emergency may strike, but the day it does is the day it’s too late to prepare.

If you are a building owner, the effect goes a bit further. The safety of tenants is in your hands, so it’s essential that you have emergency kits and protocols in place. But have you considered who you will call to get you back in business in the case of a disaster? Many organizations have an employee plan of action prepared, but they haven’t thought about how they will get back in business as soon as possible to minimize disruption and maintain business continuity. Every hour you remain unable to conduct business, your business loses profit. But this also has an effect on the community surrounding the business. If a building is flooded, the employees that work may not be able to work and the business may not be able to pay them. This can put a strain on the family’s finances, reducing their ability to spend normally in their community. Large numbers of businesses impacted can mean large numbers of workers and families impacted, which ultimately hurts the surrounding unaffected businesses as people are able to spend less. It’s important that we all do our own part in preparation not just for our own business but for the best interest of the entire community as well.

What can I do today to prepare?

For individuals, make a plan with your family this month. Know how you will communicate in the case of an emergency. Check out this page to make a plan using their tools.

If you are a building owner or a property/facility manager, create a plan for building recovery this month. Claria offers a free PREP plan that includes a comprehensive emergency response and recovery plan prior to an emergency. You can also visit here to see the preparedness resources they have for you and your business there.

We encourage you to make preparation your priority this month, and we’re happy to help you in any way we can.