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You may think you are prepared – until Mother Nature or man-made threats deliver a harsh lesson. The magnitude of Hurricane Florence, which is on its way to batter the Carolinas, serves as the latest harsh reminder.
It’s difficult to be emotionally ready for casualties, but it is possible to be better prepared for anticipated challenges such as the need for medical care, loss of electricity, communication lapses, lack of safe shelter, and limited supplies of fresh water, food, fuel and other necessities. There are also after-effects to consider, including exposure to hazardous conditions during clean-up operations, economic impacts and post-traumatic stress.
There are steps you can take to protect yourself and others. Here are some suggestions:
Experts recommend that you tailor plans and supplies to your daily living needs. Keep in mind:
Once you have your developed your plan, do a mock drill to identify potential gaps or limitations.
Download a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sample preparedness plan and use it as a guide to create your own. Visit www.ready.gov for additional resources.
The American Red Cross recommends assembling the following disaster preparedness supplies:
Put items in airtight plastic bags and store them in plastic containers or sturdy backpacks. Keep canned food in a cool, dry place. Replace expired items and update your kit annually as your needs change.
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