City Hall Blog (archived)

National Preparedness Month, are you ready for tomorrow?

These are the days when we needed a plan:

 

And these are the days we could have made one

Exactly seven years after the Gulf Coast states were reeling under the impact of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Isaac made landfall late last month. During Katrina, our local emergency agencies received a call from a local citizen, reporting someone trapped in the attic of a flooded home in Louisiana. Local agencies coordinated with State officials and the U.S. Coast Guard to affect a rescue of the person. While this may sound unusual, but their family had developed a plan to call their out-of-state relative here in North Carolina when local phone service was out, a plan which saved their life.

This September marks the ninth annual National Preparedness Month when families are encouraged to take time to prepare for any emergency from a fire to a hurricane. This year’s slogan is “Pledge to Prepare, Awareness to Action.” We encourage you to ensure that your family has taken time to plan for and prepare for a disaster.

National Preparedness Month is sponsored by the Ready Campaign, in partnership with Citizen Corps and The Advertising Council. This year FEMA encourages individuals, businesses, and organizations to commit to doing at least one of the following:

  • Learn about emergency hazards and their appropriate responses
  • Build an emergency kit
  • Make a communications plan
  • Get involved in preparedness in their community.

Locally, we face a variety of emergencies each year from wind damage and flooding to ice storms and hazardous material incidents as you see in the pictures below:

 

 

Are you prepared when incidents like this occur in our community? The City of Concord supports community preparedness through programs like Storm Ready Community, Community Emergency Response Teams, Child Passenger Safety Seat Program, Neighborhood Watch, and the Citizen Corps Council.

You can improve your family’s preparedness with the following tips:

  1. Identify your risk: What are the hazards where you live or work? Find out what natural or human caused disasters pose a risk for you. Do you live near a flood plain, an earthquake fault, or in a high fire danger area? Are you prepared for an unexpected human-made disaster that can strike any time? Does your neighborhood or community have a disaster plan?
  2. Create a Family Disaster Plan - Your family needs a plan that tells everyone where to meet if you have to evacuate; who you’ve identified as an out-of-state “family contact;” and how to get emergency information in your community. Talk to your kids about what the risks are and what your family will do if disaster strikes. Don’t forget your pets.
  3. Practice Your Disaster Plan - After you have sat down with your family and written your plan — practice it. Start by having family members meet at a designated spot outside your home — like you would after a fire or after the shaking stops. Know how to respond in the event of any disaster — whether to stay indoors or evacuate your neighborhood by car. For help call our emergency management office at 704-920-5528.
  4. Make a Disaster Supply Kit - If you are stranded in your car, an emergency occurs at work, or have to be self-sufficient at home until help arrives, you need to have a disaster kit with you.
  5. Remember your family who may have special needs - Infants, seniors, and those with special needs must not be forgotten.Make sure that supplies for your infant are in your kit and that you have items such as medications, oxygen tanks, or other medical supplies seniors or those with special needs may require.
  6. Learn CPR and First Aid - Contact you local chapter of the American Red Cross today and get trained on basic first aid and CPR. Your training could save the life of a loved one or neighbor following a disaster.
  7. Get Involved: donate blood, join a local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), educate your neighbor, or volunteer with your local American Red Cross.
We all share a responsibility in preparing for disasters, whether it is September or any other month of the year, disaster can strike at any time. For more information visit ready.gov.