Helpful tips for preparedness

Published 9:45 am Friday, September 18, 2015

September is Preparedness Month, as I wrote last week. This week I will continue with many tips that can help get to a prepared status. These tips are not all-inclusive and some may not apply to you or the family. These tips don’t have to be completed all at once either. Pick a tip and follow through with it. Then pick another and so forth.

Many of these tips can be used for businesses also. If needed, help a family member, a neighbor, or a friend who may not know how to get started.

As mentioned by our colonel in last week’s article, the first step is to have a plan.

Understand what puts you at risk from disasters and take steps to lower your risk. Plan what to do if you have to evacuate.

Take steps now to prevent damage to your home in a disaster.

Learn what disasters can happen in your area and decide what you will do in a disaster.

Know how to respond safely when instructions are given to evacuate or take shelter.

Have 72 hours (three days) worth of water stored for your household. It’s recommended to have a gallon of water per person, per day.

Have an emergency food supply that will meet the needs of your household for three days. Be aware of and prepare for your family’s unique needs. Don’t forget house pets and their needs.

Have the ability to communicate with family members during a disaster. If there are children in school, await their call to retrieve your child. The school has plans for disasters also. Make sure those who count on you are prepared. Talk to young children and the elderly and other family members about plans. Make sure everyone in your household can receive, understand, and act on information received in an emergency.

Do you have emergency supplies in one location? In the event of an emergency, you have only minutes to evacuate. This is not the time to begin to search for items. Make sure some of these supplies are for a power outage. Flashlights, extra batteries, hand-powered devices, such as radios and flashlights, are excellent tools to have handy. Also, make sure some of these supplies should be first aid items. Make sure those that are able have some first aid training, even basic information. Take the family to a certified CPR/Basic First Aid course.

Lastly, get involved with your community. This may involve training the family, but also something like a neighborhood watch; neighbors taking care of neighbors. When the power has gone out, has anyone checked on the neighbor who has electrical powered air pump for oxygen tanks? Has the elderly neighbor lost heat during December? These little ideas can expand your preparedness from you and your household to the whole community.

Get prepared and make plans. Severe weather and winter is a short time away. Let’s not wait until it strikes before we start looking for supplies and wondering what to do.

The following websites are excellent resources for preparedness:

• Do1Thing.Com

• Recross.Org

• Michigan.Gov/prepares

• Michigan.Gov/miready


Any further questions or comments please email MSP Trooper Rob Herbstreith at or call (269) 683-4411.