Are You Prepared For An Emergency

Dated: 11/30/2018

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I'm usually some what prepared fo most emergencies. I grew up in an area that tornadoes are the normal and you often don't get a lot of warning.

This year Hurricane Michael took me by surprise. I've lived along the Emerald Coast for almost 12 years and until Hurricane Michael, I hadn't experienced a major hurricane. When I first heard the report about the storm it hadn't been classified as a hurricane so...I didn't think much about preparing and postponed my usual goal to have my gas tank full. The next morning, everything changed and there was no gas to be found. I don't usually panic but not having enough gas to even make it 20-30 miles made me a little nervous. This made me realize you truly do need a plan.

It's impossible to predict when a natural disaster will occur. Preparing and creating a plan may help keep you and your family safe when one occurs. No matter where you live, you may be vulnerable to emergency or weather hazards. It could be earthquakes, wild fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards - some come with warnings and some don't...most can lead to outages such as power, cell phone service, wifi and/or water & sewer. So make sure you have a battery operated radio. After Hurricane Michael power and cell phone service outages lasted for weeks in some areas and residents had no way of receiving information how to receive help or where to go for help.

Make a plan...

1. Create a spreadsheet or list that includes family members names, phone numbers, email address, place of work or school

2. Plan a safe evacuation route. When an emergency occurs you may have to evacuate with little or no notice. Have more than one route & make sure   everyone is familiar with them.

3. Assign duties...have someone turn off the utilities, another collect and pack important documents and make sure someone grabs the pets and their food. Giving everyone an assignment ensures nothing important is left behind. 

Practice the plan with your family regularly. The more familiar you are, the more prepared you'll be.

For more information or how to make a plan go to https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan 

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Kathy Price

Born and raised in Alabama, Kathy's family chose this area of Florida to vacation more often than not. So, at an early age, she developed a love for this spot of "Heaven on earth". When her boys grew ....

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