Escambia County encourages residents to join in observing National Preparedness Month in September, recognized each year by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to remind everyone that we all must prepare ourselves and our families for disasters now and throughout the year. The theme for 2020 is "Disasters Don't Wait. Make Your Plan Today."
Take time to learn lifesaving skills such as CPR and first aid, check your insurance policies and coverage for hazards, and know how to take practical safety steps like shutting off water and gas. Often, residents are the first ones to respond in communities to take action after disaster strikes and before first responders arrive, so it is important to prepare in advance to help yourself and your community.
Each week of National Preparedness Month 2020 has a theme:
Sept. 1-8: Make a Plan
Sept. 9-15: Build a Kit
Sept. 16-22: Prepare for Disasters
Sept. 23-29: Teach Youth About Preparedness
Prepare now for disasters by following these tips from Escambia County and FEMA:
Know Your Zone - Do you live in a hurricane evacuation zone? Learn your evacuation zone and have an evacuation plan. Find your zone at myescambia.com/knowyourzone.
Know Your Home - Is it prepared for a hurricane? With COVID-19, your safest place may be at home instead of a shelter.
Know Your Plan - Where can you stay if you are evacuated? Confirm plans now with family or friends, before the storm.
Make and Practice Your Plan Before the Storm
Make an emergency plan and build your disaster kit with food, water, tools and other supplies for you and your family. Click here for a form to create your family emergency communication plan, including tips on how to practice your plan.
Know where you will get emergency information, including alerts and warnings.
Strengthen your home and complete any needed repairs.
Know your evacuation zone, and have an evacuation plan.
Pay attention to local guidance about updated plans for evacuations and shelters, including shelters for your pets.
Check Your Insurance Coverage
Insurance is the first line of defense in a disaster. Check your insurance coverage and review FEMA's document and insure property guide.
Flood insurance allows communities and families to recover more quickly and more fully. Visit floodsmart.gov to learn more about flood insurance and how to protect your home or business.
Save for an Emergency
Plan financially for the possibility of a disaster.
Complete an emergency financial first aid kit.
Maintain emergency savings for use in case of a disaster or other emergency.
Learn Lifesaving Skills
Become CPR certified. For a list of available CPR classes offered by Escambia County EMS, click here.
Know basic home maintenance to protect your family and your home. Learn how to mitigate your home against damage, and know how to turn off utilities like natural gas.
Know the ways to keep your home safe from cooking, heating and electrical fires.
If you are medically dependent on electricity or oxygen, sign up with Florida’s Special Needs Registry. Specific information regarding the Escambia County Special Needs Registry and Public Shelter Program and other disaster-related information is available at EscambiaHealth.com.
The Florida Division of Emergency Management and the National Hurricane Center are resources for weather information and will issue frequent watches, warnings, forecasts and analyses of severe tropical weather.
For more information about disaster preparedness, visit bereadyescambia.com or check out the Escambia County Disaster Guide. For updates about emergency preparedness and more, like Escambia County Emergency Management on Facebook or follow @BeReadyEscambia on Twitter.
To learn more about National Preparedness Month and how you can participate, https://www.ready.gov/september.