We’re in Week #1 of National Disaster Preparedness Month (NPM), and the Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response (LSSDR) team is ready to celebrate it by sharing the most important of all disaster kit tools … INFORMATION.
The 2014 NPM theme is “Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare” and each week in September we’ll post a “How to …” blog, following the schedule below:
Week 1 – How to … Reconnect with family after a disaster.
Week 2 –How to … Plan for specific needs (e.g., pets, disabilities, businesses) before a disaster.
Week 3 – How to … Build an emergency kit.
Week 4 & 5 – How to … Practice for an emergency.
The Role of LSSDR in the Event of a Major Disaster
Among many partners, LSSDR is a local affiliate of Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR), a national ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). In the event of a major disaster, LSSDR works with other responding agencies (within and beyond the Lutheran network, i.e. LDR, LCMS, Thrivent, non-profit partners, state and federal agencies as appropriate, etc.) and donors, volunteers, and spiritual caregivers to provide relief and resources to affected individuals and areas.
September, historically a peak month for hurricanes, is a great time to have a “preparathon” in your own home, and LSSDR wants to encourage and help you make a plan, build a kit, and be informed – beginning with our Week 1 “How to …”
HOW TO RECONNECT WITH FAMILY AFTER A DISASTER:*
Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another and review what you will do in different situations. Consider a plan where each family member calls or emails the same friend or relative in the event of an emergency. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
Be sure each person knows the phone number and has coins or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. You may have trouble getting through, or the phone system may be down altogether, but be patient. Depending on your circumstances and the nature of the attack, the first important decision is whether you stay put or get away. You should understand and plan for both possibilities. Use common sense and the information you are learning here to determine if there is immediate danger. Watch television and listen to the radio for official instructions as they become available.
Know Emergency Plans at School and Work. Think about the places where your family spends time: school, work and other places your family frequents. Talk to your children’s schools and your employer about emergency plans. Find out how they will communicate with families during an emergency. If you are an employer, be sure you have an emergency preparedness plan. Review and practice it with your employees. A community working together during an emergency also makes sense. Talk to your neighbors about how you can work together.
Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling a supply kit and developing a family communications plan – are the same for both a natural or manmade emergency.
Go to www.ready.gov to learn more about potential threats and other emergencies or call 1-800 BE-READY- for a free brochure.
Be prepared to adapt this information to your personal circumstances and make every effort to follow instructions received from authorities on the scene. With these simple preparations, you can be ready for the unexpected. Get. Ready. Now. hashtag #LSSDR