Thursday, October 6, 2022

A Lasting Legacy – Emergency Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month. The City of Southlake Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has committed to participating and increasing awareness throughout our community.

The 2022 theme, A Lasting Legacy, focuses on the importance of protecting every life by preparing for disasters. Ultimately, these efforts will help us create and preserve a long-lasting legacy.

Emergencies happen at unexpected moments,” said Southlake’s Emergency Manager Amanda Meneses. “It’s essential to take the time now to do some simple things that will help keep you safe when disaster strikes.

Meneses also noted that the region had witnessed the devastation that storms, flash floods, wildfires, and even drought can cause. So this month is a good time to take stock and ensure everyone is ready.

OEM wants residents of Southlake to make sure they and their families are prepared for a disaster by learning the hazards that affect our area. The Southlake Get Prepared webpage provides information for making an emergency preparedness plan.

Keeping the theme in mind, consider these four steps:

Step 1: Put a plan together.

Discuss the following questions with your household members, extended family, and friends.

  • How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  • What is my shelter plan?
  • What is my evacuation plan?
  • What is my family/household communication plan?
  • Do I need to update my emergency preparedness kit?

Step 2: Consider the specific needs of your household.

Tailor your plan to include supplies for the day-to-day living needs for each family member. Having the necessary supplies on hand can help family members feel calm, even amid chaos. Factors to consider when developing a personalized plan:

  • Age of each household member,.
  • Dietary needs, store items that your family will eat,
  • Medical needs, including prescriptions and equipment,
  • Pet food and supplies,
  • Cultural and religious considerations,
  • Supplies to assist others,
  • Cleaning supplies and disinfectants,
  • And copies of important documents such as driver’s licenses, social security cards, and insurance information.

Step 3: Fill out a family emergency plan.

Whether completing the document provided by Texasready.gov or creating your own, the primary purpose is to provide answers to the overarching question, “What if…?”

  • What happens in the event of an emergency if you are not with your family?
  • Will you know how to reach them if cell service is down? How will you know they are okay?
  • How will they know you are okay?

Step 4: Practice makes proficient.

Practice your plan with your family/household. Ideally, your preparedness plan will become second nature after practice and discussion. It can also be written and placed in a central location where it can quickly be reviewed.

Now is a great time to make your preparedness plan. To receive tips and information, visit www.ready.gov and www.texasready.gov.