Thursday, September 29, 2011

Let's Welcome Tara to the Preparedness Gang!

Being prepared for an emergency is important even when you are separated from your loved ones. I am a current intern for the Red Cross and working closely with Regional Preparedness Manager, Alex Villa on the Be Red Cross Ready program. From this experience, I have realized the importance of building a kit, making a plan, and staying informed. With my husband recently taking a job out of town and I am currently still living in the Valley, we are now putting together two disaster kits and action plans for each of our homes. A communication plan is vital in our circumstance. As we are currently separated from one another, it is so important for us to plan in advance. We have to take into consideration how we will contact one another, how we will get back together, and what we will do in different situations.

To get things started, we have identified one out-of-town contact person who will be notified if disaster strikes and one of us is involved. The both of us have the updated out-of-area contact information close at hand. It is also important for us to become familiar with the emergency plans for each others place of employment and how they will communicate with families during an emergency. Knowing this emergancy plan will help to prepare and reunite me with my husband after an emergency. Being prepared and knowing what disasters may strike in both areas is important. If and when an emergency occurs, being informed will help determine if we need to stay at our current location or meet one another at a specified evacuation site between the both of us.

There is a lot to think about when preparing for a diaster, with the both of us living in different locations. By building our disaster kits, creating our action plan, and knowing how to stay informed, we are one step closer to being prepared for a disaster. We don’t know if and when a disaster will strike, but having the knowledge and tools to be prepared will help to minimize any stress and chaos. Disaster can strike quick and without warning, knowing what to do is your best protection and your responsibility. Let this be a reminder how important it is for you and your loved ones to be prepared for any emergency.

Tara Isaak Rothford is an intern in our Preparedness Education and Outreach program. She joins us from California State University, Fresno and is a currently working on her Masters in Public Health Education.