September is a busy month in emergency management, dedicated to encouraging people to prepare for potential emergencies and disasters. National Preparedness Month is celebrated nationwide, and in Arizona, Governor Ducey proclaimed it Arizona Preparedness Month.
Here at the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA), we like to take a little extra time to remind people to prepare now for the emergencies that could affect them at home or work. We make preparedness easy by suggesting small steps to be prepared.
Writing a family communication plan is the first step. The plan (download a fill-in-the-blank form here) identifies how your family will stay in touch if not together when a disaster happens. By writing down important phone numbers (cell, home, work, doctor, pharmacy, veterinarian, an out-of-town contact) all family members with have what they need at their fingertips. Include (and practice) an evacuation plan and identify places in the neighborhood where your family should meet in an emergency.
Every household needs an emergency supplies kit, three days worth of food, water, medicine and other necessities. Your kit should have a battery-operated radio and extra batteries, along with a manual can opener.
Don’t forget the special needs of your family, whether it’s diapers and baby formula or dog and cat food.
Don’t know where to begin with your kit? Check out DEMA’s emergency supplies checklist.
Get to know your area and find out what hazards could happen in your neighborhood and where you work.
Arizona experiences up to 100 floods each year across the state, not just near river basins or bodies of water. Every county in Arizona has experienced flooding, so find out where flooding has happened (or could happen) near you.
This year, DEMA’s Public Information Office created a flood awareness campaign to educate Arizonans about their risk of being affected by floods, regardless of the time of year. The light-hearted campaign shows people going about their everyday activities and being surprised by a deluge of flood waters. The campaign is not only meant to encourage preparedness, but for people to be aware of the impact flooding may have on them, their family or their business.
The Flood Safe AZ website provides preparedness tips, shares the cost of flooding based on water levels, and helps residents determine if they live in a flood zone.
To view the campaign, visit FloodSafeAZ.org