Sure it’s a cliché, but when talking preparedness the old adage “Better safe than sorry” is fitting. There is rarely advance notice of an earthquake, a terrorist attack or a tornado before it flattens homes, destroys infrastructure or displaces entire communities. And even when an emergency or disaster is anticipated, who can truthfully say that they’re ready for anything?
The Arizona Emergency Information Network (AzEIN) is helping “to reduce the impact of disaster on persons and property” later by encouraging Arizonians to get ready now.
The subsequent collection of preparedness pages for Individuals, Families, Schools, Businesses and Communities is a good place to begin your study of emergency preparedness. Each presents different preparedness challenges that may require use of diverse resources and strategies; however, there is an underlying tie.
The constant across all tiers are the three tenets of emergency preparedness. These simple steps empower individuals with the strategies, tools and knowledge to participate in their preparedness and meet the spectrum of Arizona hazards:
- Prepare a Plan – Write and rehearse family communication and preparedness plans that identify a family meeting place, account for special needs, and include local emergency numbers and an “out-of-town” contact.
- Make a Kit – Gather enough to sustain you and your family for at least three days. Suggested kit items include first aid supplies, non-perishable food, drinking water (one gallon/per person/per day), a flashlight, batteries and a radio.
- Be Informed – Know the hazards in your community, and ask school administrators and your employer about their readiness plans and protocols. Listen to/watch local and national weather and news coverage, and learn to use everyday technologies (e.g., the internet and mobile phones) to stay connected in an emergency.
In the end, the “best offense is a good defense.” Your efforts now can make all the difference when emergency or disaster strikes. Take the time to browse the Individuals, Families, Schools, Businesses and Communities resource pages and links, and to reflect on the state of your own readiness.
Natural disasters and emergencies come in different sizes and affect different consequences. Whether it’s a wildfire in northern Arizona, flash flooding in Phoenix or broiling summer temperatures, every Arizonian needs to take precautions; every Arizonians needs to prepare.