Here I am, staring at the last 5 days of August on the calendar. Considering that I was born in August, you would think I’d be sad to say goodbye to my old friend. August, to me, is like Thursday; the day before the even better day.
Are you still following my strange train of thought here? What I’m trying to say is that September is better than August, and that I’m looking forward to it!
What’s so great about September? I’m glad you asked!
- September 8th, 3 years ago, I asked Emily to marry me, and she actually said “Yes.” I get the honor of spending the evening with my bride. Maybe a nice walk, or dinner? Something amazing, I’m sure.
- On the 11th of this month I get the privilege of bowing my head and showing respect to many great people who perished. Don’t mistake what I say for being glad they’re gone, it’s just the opposite! However, knowing that I can do nothing to change the past, I look forward to paying tribute and showing respect. It is not a dreadful day for me, it is a day of remembrance, and an exceptionally patriotic day for this military veteran.
- When I was in high-school, my very close friend and I decided we would both join the Air Force when we graduated. We both kept true to that promise, and we served together stateside and overseas, in peace and in combat. On the 13th, he will be getting married outside Offut Air Force Base in Nebraska and I will be his best man.
- Lastly, the focus of this article, September is National Preparedness Month here in the United States.
As you can see, I have much to look forward to this coming month. Now, maybe you don’t have all these things to look forward to, maybe you have your own. We all have National Preparedness Month to look forward to, and we should all take advantage of the opportunity to spend a little extra time getting prepared.
What is National Preparedness Month?
National Preparedness Month is a time when we encourage people to take the steps necessary to be prepared for a disaster or emergency situation. This applies to short-term, small scale, and long-term large-scale disasters alike.
Let’s cover a few key things you can do to start getting prepared. If you’re already reasonably prepared for a wide range of disasters/emergencies, double check these areas.
Make a 72 Hour Kit:
A 72 Hour Kit is exactly as it sounds. It’s a group of supplies in some sort of case that can be carried away as needed. It’s contents contain the essentials to make it at least 72 hours. The idea is that it will buy you time to get out of the disaster area, gather additional supplies, or just tide you over until the power comes back on in a smaller scale emergency.
Kit contents vary depending on who is giving the advice, however the 72 Hour Kit Checklist in my Preparedness Checklist Generator can help you get started as well as customize a checklist to suit your own needs. Check it out, it’s completely free.
It’s important to consider making a 72 Hour Kit for each individual in your family. This way, if you need to leave, you can each carry your own supplies. Obviously, adults may have to take some of the burden for small children.
Make a Plan:
Making a plan can certainly be tedious work! I recommend making individual plans for individual situations. As an example, I have a distinct plan for establishing communication with my relatives if cell phones, Internet, and land-lines are down. I have a distinct plan for getting and treating water nearby if the pipes go dry.
Take the time to do the research. Use Google Maps to scout your area and determine points of weakness (flooding, intrusions, landslides, etc…) Use it to determine high ground for rally-points if you’re separated when an event occurs.
Write these plans down. If you’re injured or away, ensure your other family members will have access to the grand scheme!
Think about the small stuff. If power went out and your cell-phone died, do you know so-and-so’s phone number by memory? If it’s important, put it in your plan!
Speaking of communications, it is a good idea to have someone who can be an intermediary outside your local area. Often times, local cell towers can be overwhelmed, and calling your significant other nearby requires two openings in the same tower’s available circuits. On the other hand, if you call outside the local area, it only requires one. Make a plan for everybody to know who to reach out to in an emergency to relay information for you.
It’s important to be aware of developing situations around us. In the military, we called this “Situational Awareness.” Your awareness could mean the difference between advanced warning, or surprise.
There are numerous agencies who provide us with lots of great information that can help us stay prepared. We’ve compiled the reports from many key agencies into one place. Check out the Alert Center. Bookmark it, set it to your home page, add it on your phones! The data on our Alert Center is updated every 5 minutes and can be a fantastic tool for staying abreast of the current situations worldwide.
Learn Something New:
Reach out in your community. You don’t have to give up OPSEC, or show off your preps! Ask your local LDS church if they have someone who can help you learn about food storage. Go spend time at the gun range and learn from other shooters. Visit blogs like this one and read How-To guides.
There are an immense amount of skills that could be beneficial in a disaster. Pick a few and learn how to do them consistently! It’s our resourcefulness and what we know, more than anything, that will help us survive an emergency!
National Preparedness Month is all about advancing your mind, and your supplies to become better prepared. You can do it! If you will follow the 4 items I outlined above, you will find yourself drastically better prepared for an emergency/disaster. The feeling of security this offers is beyond imaginable.
Getting prepared can be fun, and if you make it enjoyable you’ll find that you look forward to September each year too!
Best of luck!