By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail. – Ben Franklin

As we ring in the New Year, I want you to remember the warmth of the family and friends you had around you over the holidays.  These are the people you want to care for.  You can do that by simply making the resolution to be more prepared for emergencies in the coming year.

There have been unprecedented disasters in 2011; record breaking triple-digit heat and devastating drought, deadly tornadoes leveling towns, massive rivers overflowing, a billion-dollar blizzard, and hurricane flooding in Vermont. These events are important reminders that disasters can strike anytime and anywhere.  Being prepared is one of the most effective things we can do to protect our homes, businesses and loved ones.

“One of the most important lessons we can take away from this year is that disasters can impact all of us, no matter what part of the country we live in,” said FEMA Regional Administrator Phil May. “Resolving to be ready in 2012 could be the most important pledge you make this year.”

Now is the time to make the goal to be prepared!  Be sure to visit on a regular basis for more info on keeping your family and business safe in the New Year and throughout 2012.

Here are some ideas to help get you started:

  • Plan a budget for buying emergency supplies. Some supplies available through this site.
  • Choose one preparedness project a month.  Get the family involved and put it all on the calendar.
  • Enroll in an emergency preparedness class, first aid course or FEMA online class.
  • Choose a theme:
    • First Aid: Get first aid kits and walk through the contents and when/how to use them.
    • Evacuation: Plan and practice escape routes in case of fire, intrusion or emergency.  Also, plan what to do and where to meet if you are separated.
    • Books: This site or the public library has great resource books that can provide information on a variety of emergency preparedness topics.
    • Weather: Emergency blankets, , sleeping bags, warm clothing, rain gear, hand warmers.
    • Water: Jugs of water, bottled water, juice boxes, water filters and purifiers.
    • Light: Flashlights, candles, glow sticks.
    • Power: Batteries charged, gas powered generators, hand generators, solar power.
    • Communications: Phones charged, walkie talkies, HAM radio, Citizens Band radio.
    • 72 hour Kit: Put together a 72 hour emergency survival kit for each member of the family, including your pets.

Ask any military service man or woman, ask any first responder, ask anyone who has ever lost a loved one.  Life is a precious gift!  Turn off the TV, put away the video games, remove your headsets.  Take some time to put a plan in place now before it’s too late. Let’s keep all our loved ones around us for another year!

Best wishes for a Happy, Healthy and Safe 2012!

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