2021 quickly taught us there’s no such thing as being too prepared. It’s been a tumultuous year in events not only related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic but also to natural disasters nationwide.
As we recognize National Preparedness Month this September, it serves as an important reminder that if you’re waiting for a natural disaster to happen to react, then you’re reacting too late.
The theme this year, “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love,” emphasizes emergencies can happen at any time.
Here at home, our community members are still rebuilding after the January 25th tornado in Jefferson County. While United Way of Central Alabama (UWCA) can help with long-term recovery efforts and crisis response, we want to ensure you’re taking measures to stay safe before disaster strikes.
With devastating wildfires, stronger hurricanes and heavier rainfall happening frequently, natural disasters are more likely to impact you. Here are a few low-cost/no-cost ways you can mitigate the effects of different types of emergencies from fires to floods:
- Make survival kits stocked with water, food, a first aid kit and other supplies on this checklist.
- Create a family emergency communication plan. You can download and fill out a guide here.
- Research evacuation routes ahead of time from different locations like your home, workplace and school.
Discover more information that will aid you in lessening the impact of disasters at https://www.ready.gov/.
Stay prepared with UWCA
UWCA has several initiatives you can take advantage of when preparing to protect. One UWCA resource is the Financial & Housing Education (FHE) program. A HUD-certified housing counselor can help you prepare to protect your home financially by discussing:
- Renters/homeowners insurance
- Planning for emergencies
- Saving for a “rainy day,” and much more.
UWCA partner agency the American Red Cross-Alabama Region is another great place to look for support. You can even discover which natural disasters are most likely to affect your region and how to prepare for them.
Also, remember UWCA’s 2-1-1 is a key player in disaster response and recovery operations. If you find yourself needing assistance, call 2-1-1 or visit 2-1-1 Connect Alabama to search a database of over 800 services in your area, including disaster resources.