A New Year to Prepare

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Happy new year from the world

It is that time of year again, a time to reflect on another year gone by and prepare for the new year to come. It is time to dust off last year’s resolutions and come up with a new list of things to accomplish in 2015. While researching the latest diet trend and signing up for the newest exercise class or in between swearing off your guilty pleasures, vowing to set your alarm earlier, and promising to be better at staying in touch, do yourself a favor and add these five simple preparedness resolutions to your list.

1.  Make or update your emergency kit.

If you don’t have an emergency preparedness kit in your house and car, it’s time to get one.Hurricane Kit Gather water, food, flashlights, batteries, and a first aid kit into a container or bag and store it in an easy-to-access area of your house or car.

If you already have an emergency kit, take time to review what is in it. Does your extra pair of clothes still fit? Do the flashlights need new batteries? Are all your important documents up to date? Having an emergency kit in your home or car will not be of use during an emergency if your kit is out of date or missing adequate supplies.

For more information on what to include in your emergency kit, visit CDC’s webpage: http://emergency.cdc.gov/preparedness/kit/disasters/.

2.  Form a support network (talk to your neighbors).

New Year’s Eve parties are a great time to catch up with friends and family. Why not use this time surrounded by those you love to talk about preparing for an emergency? Talk to your neighbors about forming a support network and make a plan to check on each other after a disaster occurs. Talk to people close to you about any physical limitations or special medical needs you may have during an emergency. During an emergency it is usually the people in closest proximity that are first to offer aid, and while it may not be the typical topic of conversation at your New Year’s Eve bash, it is an important discussion to have.

3.  Prepare your family (older adults, kids and pets).

When making all your plans to prepare, don’t forget your family. Talk to older adults in your life about their emergency preparedness plans, and ask them how you can help. Make sure your kids are involved in your emergency preparedness planning. Help them understand and be part of natural disaster planning with CDC’s Ready Wrigley. Also, don’t forget your pets. Include food and water for your furry friends in your emergency kit, and identify pet friendly evacuation shelters in your area.

4.  Join an alert network (app, weather radio, email updates).

It’s 2015 and even though we may not have flying cars or time machines, we do have some great technology for tracking and alerting us to natural disasters that may be in our area. Rather than downloading the latest video game or dating app, make sure your phone and computer have alert systems set up to notify you when dangerous weather is in your area. Consider setting up push notifications or email alerts that let you know when a natural disaster may be coming.

5.  Weatherize your home and review your insurance.

mature couple fills in questionnaire together The New Year is a perfect time to review your insurance plan and evaluate your home. Install or check smoke detectors and carbon-monoxide alarms in your house. Make sure you know where the utility off and on switches are located. During leaks or when evacuating your home, knowing how to turn off your gas, water, and electricity could help prevent damage to your home and protect your health. Also, check your insurance policy and make sure you are covered for possible flooding or structural damage to your home and property.

Taking time to prepare for emergencies and natural disasters now could be the most important thing you do this year.

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28 comments on “A New Year to Prepare”

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    Probably we should have a meeting place like a place of worship, or active community center to connect with. I don’t know if some are already doing this. If so, I think we need to alert the general public and start with a public forum event including time to review tools that people may need, and how/where to access information and support.
    Diane A Lombardi

    I found this article to be very helpful to me. I just moved out of my parents house and out on my own so some of these things listed on New Year to prepare blog were very helpful to me. I do not have an emergency kit, so I plan to get one and have it on hand at my apt. I also dont know many of my neighbors, so I should probably make an attempt to get to know them and have some form of a support network. It was also very helpful to read about weatherizing my home, because although this does not apply to me right now, it will soon when I am in a home instead of an apt.

    This is a great reminder of the details that so many often forget. When revamping our own emergency kit, I realized that I had forgotten to do it the previous year. My growing son would never have fit into the clothes I had packed away, nor would I have had enough food for my german shepherd puppy, who has grown from 28 to 150 lbs. Now, I mark my calendar to check my kit every four months. Does anybody have a system of rotation for medications, or a list of basic ones to always have in the emergency kit?

    This article is very helpful! I think the best aspect is the idea of apps considering the generation we’re in, getting a direct message from something in the palm of your hand immediately is a great solution! My family was in Katrina and the house I grew up in as a child was gone, I still here horror stories and hope that if something should happen to the California coast I will be prepared to protect my family as best as I can. I do have a question though: Do you think some sort of weapon should be apart of my emergency kit. I have pepper spray and a tazer and I would definitely want to bring it but the thought of a surplus of terrified newly homeless people stuck together with a bunch of random weapons also sounds like a bad idea.

    I love the hyper link that gives examples of what to include in an emergency kit. Preparing an emergency kit for a specific activity would be helpful too. For example, my family and I went camping, we knew there was a possibility of rain. We included a box with rain gear and a shovel with our regular supplies. Well, it rained like there was no tomorrow, more than what it was predicted. The rain gear came in handy and so did the shove since our truck got stuck in the mud 3 times! It took us a while but we were able to dig it out of the mud.

    This was a great article. It is very important that people are prepared for natural disasters or emergencies. I really agree with all of these things and they are so simple. I like the idea of having an emergency kit in the car, I have always heard of having them in the house but never thought to put one in my car but I am going to do this now. Plus, you never what is going to happen. Everyone has probably heard about getting things ready and preparing for disasters or emergencies, but nobody really listens or they put it off. What could be a fun or interesting way to get the whole family involved in this and getting everyone on the same page?

    Very helpful advice, having previously lived in Japan and now living in California (I must really like earthquakes) I know that having a preparedness kit is essential when disasters hit.
    Is there a disaster preparedness app recommended by the CDC?

    I thought this was an interesting article,I think it would be beneficial to know the amount of supplies on average one should have for a family of four for example. If you are a single person, you would only maybe need one flashlight, but if you have a bigger family you might need more, I don’t think people take this into account. I personally have never thought about preparing an emergency kit at all. Since reading this I plan on getting my own, as well as encourage people in my family to get one for their home.

    Would it be smart for each individual in the family to have their own personal emergency kit?

    This article proved very informative and gave great examples of what are quick easy things that can benefit an individual or a family throughout the year. I enjoy the idea of utilizing technology to alert you of an upcoming disaster because in todays world technology is the fast track to information. I myself have news apps and the iphones have a built in amber alert which is very helpful. Should I be preparing for natural disasters that are not common in my area. Floods are not that common but should I make plans to get insurance to cover that?

    Thee are good helpful tips to add to your resolution list the become a better person in the new year of 2015. I know for me that making an emergency kit is a big one for me since my home does not have one and also getting to know my neighbors a little more would be helpful if there was actually an emergency and I might need their help. For the emergency kit, what are good things and amount of things to put in there to be prepared for a big family?

    This clearly written blog has convinved me that having a plan for an emergency is very important. California does not see too many natural disasters. However, we can not always predict the future or know when one will hit home. I do not have an emergency plan, but do plan on putting one together. I live on my own now, so this is a good idea. Where is a good place to read about different natural disasters that California is susceptible to? I would like to gain more knowledge on those, so that I can construct a more efficient plan.

    I thought the article was very helpful in pointing out the need for a family emergency kit, and an action plan with neighbors in the event of an emergency/disaster.

    You never know when a disaster will strike, being prepared is key. This article was very helpful. Going through my emergency kit will be much easier, now that I know what to look for and put in it. Getting together w/family and neighbors to set up a plan is a great idea. How many days of supplies should you keep in your emergency kit?

    Great blog, especially to give people an idea of where to start and what to have for your emergency kits. My family has a small emergency kit in case of a disaster, however I never thought of adding our dogs food also (thanks for the tip!) and will definitely be adding after reading this blog. Any suggestions on how often emergency kits should be checked?

    I have never stopped to think about the fact that we should be preparing ourselves each year or i suppose repreparing for some. In southern california we are so blessed to not have too many natural disasters, but we are facing a supposedly “big earthquake” that is coming our way so now is the time to be prepared. Although i do wonder since i have never experienced a natural disaster is any amount of preparedness going to be enough or will chaos prevail?

    This was a very interesting article to read because I do not find my parents preparing for any emergency at all. Living in California I feel that we are very naive to the possible disasters that can occur. I am going to show this to my family and hope that we can create a great emergency kit to keep at home in case of any emergency. However, I know my parents will not take it seriously knowing we live in california and we do not get much rain for flooding or any other natural disasters so I will have a hard time explaining to them why we need an emergency kit, so what can I tell them we need to prepare for in California besides a disaster like an earthquake in order to convince them to take this emergency kit seriously?

    This article was very interesting and eye-opening. I usually don’t think about preparing for disasters until it’s brought up, so acknowledging being prepared for emergencies and considering it as a resolution sounds like a great way to start. However, because emergencies and natural disasters don’t happen often, is it more effective to do all steps every year?

    S. Calderon, you should check your emergency kit at least once a year. Make sure to check the expirations dates on your food and test your flashlights and extra batteries to make sure they still work. You may also want to update your emergency kit seasonally, the emergency supplies you need in your car may be different in the winter compared to the summer. For more information about making and keeping your emergency kit up-to-date visit CDC’s webpage: http://emergency.cdc.gov/preparedness/kit/disasters/

    @LizethLopez while not everyone in a family might need an individual emergency kit, your family preparedness kit should have everything you need to meet the specific needs of EVERYONE in your family. Make sure that you have a 3 day supply of water for each person in your family (including your pets) and consider the unique needs of your family. If you have small children you may need to include diapers or baby formula in your emergency kit, or if someone in your family has specific medical needs you may need to include medication or other medical equipment. Visit CDC’s emergency preparedness website for information on starting an emergency kit for your family http://emergency.cdc.gov/preparedness/kit/disasters/.

    This is a great annual reminder for emergency preparedness that can be easily overlooked. I’ve found that keeping my neighbors informed about what’s going on is always beneficial, so involving them with my emergency preparedness plans is a great idea that I’ve never thought of before. Do you have any suggestions on what to do if you run out of supplies in your emergency kit (for example, using daily household items that can help with survival)?

    This is such a great article regarding preparedness. I think that many people overlook emergency kits for their homes and how important they can be. I know people that were affected by the typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines and they were unable to take the above precautions. Thankfully, it wasn’t so severe where they resided. If we all just start with the new preparedness resolutions, we would be all better off because we may never get a warning of when the next big natural disaster might hit. Are there any particular foods that you would suggest to add to an emergency kit?

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Page last reviewed: December 31, 2014
Page last updated: December 31, 2014