Now that we are aware of our risks, this week we are going to make our own disaster plan. This week will probably require the most work of all because there is so much to think about and plan for. Fortunately for us, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has created a few resources to help us with our plan. The FEMA Ready.gov website recommends we consider the following and incorporate this information into our plan. So if you want to work along with me and make a plan for yourself, grab a notebook or open a document on your computer and let’s go:
Know and list your risks and hazards
One of the first steps is to list the types of hazards and risks you have. If you participated in last week’s step, you should already have these either listed out or in your mind. You may or may not have the same risks we do in our area which are:
Severe Weather, Winter Storm, Tornado
How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
Next we need to know how we will be warned when hazardous events may occur so we can make sure we receive those alerts and have time to protect ourselves. If your community’s local plan is like mine, it should have indicated how residents and businesses will be warned during an emergency. There are several methods of alerting people in a community:
- Community Notification Services – your local community may offer a community notification service like CodeRed. If it does, the information you need to sign up for it should be posted on your community’s website.
- FEMA Mobile App – We can also install the FEMA Mobile App on our phones. This app will alert you based on the location you indicate in the app.
- Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) – this is a national alert and warning system which can be used by all public safety officials. You can visit the link I’ve listed here to see which communities have received authority to use this system and which communities are in the process of applying for that authority: Organizations with Alerting Authority
- Warning Sirens – some communities have warning sirens for different types of hazards. For example, our state, Illinois, has an information site to describe the types of sirens in our state, what they mean, and how we should respond. The site even has an audio of how the sirens usually sound.
- Media Alerts – list the local radio and television stations which may be broadcasting in your area in the event of an emergency. If you receive an alert, it often advises you to tune into these stations to get more detailed information.
That’s it for today – list your risks and note how your community will warn you of hazards and how you will respond. We will continue on tomorrow!
As a side note, throughout this series of posts about getting prepared, I may mention certain products, services, agencies, etc. At no time is it my intention to promote a specific product or service or agency. Each is mentioned only for informational purposes. Of course as a government employee, I do receive a salary from the government for the time I work on my job, but I don’t receive any compensation from any commercial entities I mention or include in these posts.