News | Sept. 6, 2018

Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance

By Dominique Shelton DLA Aviation Public Affairs

No matter where you live, disaster can hit at any given time. So it’s important to keep in mind that when dealing with an emergency or disaster, every second counts- that’s why it’s vital that you have a plan in place at home and at work.

As we go into September, we not only say goodbye to the summer season and hello to the holidays. This is also the time we spend recognizing National Preparedness Month. National Preparedness Month is held annually in September and sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

According to FEMA, “National Preparedness Month focuses on changing perceptions about emergency preparedness and helping Americans understand what it means to "Be Ready." National Preparedness Month coalition members have agreed to distribute emergency preparedness information and sponsor activities across the country that will promote emergency preparedness.”

When facing any type of emergency whether it be natural or man-made, the best thing you can do is to stay informed. According to the National Safety Council some ways to do this is through radio, television or the internet. While these are good tips, it’s important to note that in some instances cable, electricity and cellular services might not be available, so the best plan one can create is one that can be applied to many different disaster situations.  

According to the National Safety Council, some helpful tips for creating your home plan include:

   ·  Create a family communication plan and ensure all family members review and practice said plan.

   ·  Have all family members’ and other important phone numbers written down and or memorized.

   ·  Keep an emergency kit on hand. Some things you might want to include in your kit: Flashlight and extra batteries; First aid kit with gauze, tape, bandages, antibiotic ointment, aspirin, a blanket, non-latex gloves, scissors, hydrocortisone, thermometer, tweezers and instant cold compress; nonperishable high-energy foods; such as unsalted nuts; dried fruits and hard candy; car charger for your cell phone; fire extinguisher and duct tape.

   ·  Be sure to store all important documents in a fire-proof safe or safety-deposit box.

   ·  Learn how to shut off all of the utilities.

   ·  Have family members learn CPR and first-aid.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, some helpful tips for creating your work plan include:

   ·  Create a preferred method for reporting fires and other emergencies.

   ·  Create evacuation policies and procedures.

   ·  Create emergency escape procedures, such as floorplans, workplace maps and safe refuge areas.

   ·  Names, titles and telephone numbers of individuals both within and outside your organization, to contact for additional information or explanation of duties and responsibilities under the emergency plan.

   ·  Procedures for employees who remain to perform or shutdown critical plant operations, operate fire extinguishers, or perform other essential services that cannot be shut down for every emergency alarm before evacuating.

   ·  Identify rescue and medical duties for any workers designated to perform them.   

Oftentimes, we, as community members, will be the first responders in our communities taking action after a disaster strikes and before the actual first responders arrive. So it’s important for us to prepare in advance in order to help not only our families but others throughout the community. Luckily, National Preparedness Month, provides us an opportunity to better prepare ourselves and our families now and throughout the year.

For more information on National Preparedness go to https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/safety-topics/emergency-preparedness, https://www.ready.gov/september and https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3088.pdf