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“Be Informed, Be Ready, Be Prepared”

Sep 18, 2013

As September is National Preparedness Month, the members of the Homeland Security & Civil Preparedness Committee wish to share the following information with you. Please pass this along to help all members of The American Legion Family be prepared.

Preparedness Backpack
School bells are ringing for many students across the nation. As your child heads back to class, are they ready for emergency situations that can arise? Prepare yourself and children now to be disaster-ready throughout the school year. In addition to keeping your emergency contact information up-to-date at your child’s school, follow these steps:
•   Find out where children will be taken if they have to evacuate the school;
•   Ask if they store enough food, water and other supplies in case they have to “shelter-in-place;”
•   Designate a friend or relative to pick up your children in an emergency and make sure the school knows who that person is; and
•   Ask how they will communicate with families during a crisis.
Remember, back-to-school preparedness means more than buying notebooks and pencils! Visit the new Ready Kids site for valuable tools to help kids, parents and teachers prepare for emergencies.
Family Matters
September is National Preparedness Month – the annual campaign to encourage Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, schools, organizations, businesses and communities. We want to encourage you – as individuals and families – to pledge to prepare during the month of September but we also want to encourage you and your family to make preparedness a part of your daily life every day moving forward. Here are three easy steps for you and your family to take to get involved and be better prepared:
Step 1: Pledge to Prepare

The first step to getting involved is to register as a coalition member at Ready.gov/pledge. Members will have access to the online community, resources and tools available to help get you and your family prepared for an emergency.
Step 2: Take a Free Online Preparedness Course

Developed in partnership with the Emergency Management Institute and in consultation with faith-based and community partners, FEMA’s “IS-909 Community Preparedness: Implementing Simple Activities for Everyone” training course will introduce you to a program for promoting individual and community preparedness through simple and engaging activities. The course is free, available online and is designed for anyone to use in coordination with your local emergency preparedness partners.
Step 3: Implement Simple Preparedness Activities

FEMA has made available to the public, free training and resources to help you and your family to take action and implement simple preparedness activities. Some of the simple activities include:
•   Creating a no-cost or low-cost disaster kit;
•   Preparing for utility outages; and
•   How to use a fire extinguisher.
Fast-Moving Flames
Raging wildfires near Yosemite National Park have threatened thousands of homes, forced evacuations and initiated a state of emergency for the San Francisco Bay Area. The fire described as “one of the largest in recent California history” may also impact the area’s water supply and power grid. If these fast-moving flames are in your area, do you know what to do? Take these steps to stay safe if you are at home:
•   Arrange temporary housing with a friend or relative outside of the area in case you need to evacuate;
•   Shut off any natural gas, propane or fuel oil supplies at the source;
•   Fill up any pools, tubs or garbage cans with water;
•   Place valuables that cannot be damaged by water in a pool or pond. Put other valuables in the car; and
•   Remove flammable drapes or curtains.
If advised to evacuate, do so immediately taking your disaster supply kit with you. Be sure to let someone know where you will be.
All of this information and more can be found on the ready.gov family of web-sites.

“Be Informed, Be Ready, Be Prepared”