MADISON, Wis. – Every area of Wisconsin can face disasters, and it is important to have a planned response whether you are at home, work, school or on the road. To help all Wisconsinites be ready for any emergency, Governor Tony Evers has declared September Preparedness Month in Wisconsin. ReadyWisconsin encourages everyone to spend time developing a disaster plan.
“Disasters can strike at any time,” said Wisconsin Emergency Management Administrator Greg Engle. “While many emergencies can happen with little notice, the best way to prepare is to develop an emergency plan, know what threats can affect your area, and know what resources are available to help you stay informed during a disaster.”
Preparedness Month is recognized every September across the country as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Ready Campaign. This year’s campaign is focusing on preparing older adults for disasters.
“As people age, their needs and capabilities change,” said Engle. “It is important to take any challenges you may face into consideration during the emergency planning process to prevent or minimize disaster effects.”
Some steps to consider when preparing older adults for an emergency include:
- How to stay in contact with others if communications are disrupted.
- Planning transportation if you need evacuation assistance.
- Making copies of Medicaid, Medicare, and other insurance cards.
- Electronic payment deposits for Social Security or other benefits.
- Include items in your emergency supply kit such as medicine, medical supplies, batteries and chargers.
- Talk to your caregiver on what may be expected and required for assistance before, during, and after a disaster.
ReadyWisconsin offers several resources to help older adults with the process of emergency planning at https://readywisconsin.wi.gov.
During the month of September, ReadyWisconsin encourages everyone to prepare by:
- Creating or updating your disaster plan. This should include what to do in the event an emergency or disaster forces you to remain at home for several days or you are forced to leave your home. Make sure the plan is practiced.
- Create a disaster kit that includes three days of supplies, such as water and non-perishable food, a first aid kit and flashlights. Remember to think about medical needs and don’t forget to include supplies for your pets.
- Talk to children about what to do at home, school, daycare or when they are not at home. Make sure they know who to contact and identify a safe meeting place.
- Identify disasters that are likely to affect your community and the resources available to respond.
- Review your insurance policy to make sure you have adequate coverage for your home and other property. Remember that most policies do not cover flood damage, which will typically require its own policy.
- Get emergency notifications on your phone. When emergencies strike, public safety officials use timely and reliable systems to alert you. These include Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) that can broadcast from cell towers to any WEA-enabled mobile device in a targeted area. Check with local emergency management on other emergency messaging systems available in your area.
- Take steps to prepare your home. This includes maintaining your property, such as trimming tree branches, cleaning gutters, and securing shingles on your roof.