Friday, August 26, 2011

Practice What You Preach: Emergency Preparedness

This post was originally shared on Voluntary Happiness.

Back in May, I wrote about preparing to help during a disaster.  This week has definitely been a test of how prepared we really are, not just as volunteers, but as individuals who may face emergency situations on our own.   With this week's surprise earthquake, I learned that I was not prepared for an emergency at all, though I could talk all day about ways to get involved in emergency preparedness and response.  For example, my co-workers and I evacuated our building during the earthquake.  Once we got outside, I had no idea that there was a meeting spot for my team.  My cell phone was charged enough that I could call my husband and check out Facebook and Twitter, but the battery was low within about 30 minutes.  When I got home, I realized that we don't have a ready kit, gallons of water, or enough non-perishable food in case of a power outage.  The lesson here is:  practice what you preach (and better late than never).

There's still time to prepare for Hurricane Irene and the preparation now will save you time and worry in the future:
Here are some simple reminders:
  • Keep your cell phone charged
  • Stock up on food and water
  • Prepare for high wind by bringing things inside
  • Make sure your car is filled with gas
  • Have a plan in case you need to evacuate
For updates throughout the weekend, follow @ArlingtonVEST and@VolunteerARL on Twitter.  In addition to the County's media, those feeds will give you information on volunteer opportunities that may arise as result of the hurricane.

Stay safe!

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