Are you ready?
Tornado. Flood. Earthquake. Fire. These words can, and often do, strike fear in the minds and hearts of people. Anyone who's lived in Tennessee knows that it's a beautiful state, but it also has its dangers. It's important to understand the significance of having, and being able to use, an emergency plan as a response to any type of disaster. A person prepared won't live in fear.
Make a plan.
What's the worst that could happen to you in the places where you live and work? Find out. By learning the risks in your area, you can prepare for the most likely disasters. Contact your local emergency management office or the nearest chapter of the Red Cross for more information.
Ask yourself these other questions: Does your community have a public warning system? What about animal care after a disaster? If you care for the elderly or disabled, how can you help them?
Remember to involve your family as you collect information and attempt to answer these questions. Discuss as a family why you need a disaster plan, as well as what the plan should include.
The most important point to remember regarding a local disaster is that you are the first responder for your own well-being, as well as that of your family.
Personalize your kit. It should contain items you need and food you will eat. If you don't like peanut butter, don't add it to your kit. If you suffer from something like seasonal allergies, you may want to include allergy medicine. Most kits are for 72 hours, but as we have seen in past disasters, including the 2010 flooding in Tennessee, the need could be for a week or more.
Keep in mind, you don't have to buy your kit pre-assembled from a retailer; you can make one yourself using a bucket, backpack, or suitcase. Even a single bucket filled with the proper supplies can help sustain you and your family during a crisis.
We offer a list of specific kit recommendations.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA)