September is National Preparedness Month, a full month dedicated to encouraging the public to assess and prepare for local disaster risks and unplanned emergencies.
Although Southern Arizona doesn’t experience hurricanes that cause so much destruction in the Southeast, or the earthquakes that sometimes rattle California, Southern Arizona has its own unique set of disaster threats.
Wildfires have been burning with more regularity in recent years, destroying property and threatening lives. Flash floods, power outages, and extreme heat all crop up over the summer in Southern Arizona, and each presents a threat to families and property.
Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona recommends two things every family should do to prepare for any kind of disaster:
1. Make a plan. Discuss with family and friends how you’ll contact each other, where you’ll meet if you can’t go home and what you’ll do in specific situations like a tornado or fire.
2. Prepare an emergency kit. If disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water or electricity. Your emergency kit should include items such as:
a. A three-day supply of food and water
b. Flashlights with extra batteries
c. First-aid kit
d. Multifunctional tools, such as a wrench or pliers
e. Power inverter or solarcharger for electronics such as your cell phone
Families may also want to consider including such items as prescription medications, infant formula and diapers, pet food and cash. Remember to check your supplies every few months and replace expired items.
Other things to keep in mind: