Preparedness Goals for 2016

plan-b-headerThe beginning of a new year is always a good time to stop and evaluate your goals. It’s common to make resolutions related to health and fitness in January and February, but what about making preparedness goals?

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Americans are woefully unprepared for natural disasters and emergency situations. A 2015 survey found that only 40 percent of participants have developed an emergency plan, and 60 percent of American adults have not taken part in a disaster or emergency drill within the last year.

In general, getting you and your family prepared involves three stages. The first stage is determining what your goals are and gathering information. The next step is to create a plan and hammer out the specifics of who, what, where, and how. Then, you and your family will be able to start collecting and assembling emergency supplies like a 72-hour kit plus extra food, water and other necessities.

Figuring out what your preparedness goals are should be the number one priority to begin with. Preparedness goals could include things like:

  • Finding out what natural disasters are most common in your local area
  • Discovering what the best evacuation routes are in case of an emergency
  • Developing a workplace emergency plan
  • Learning basic CPR and First Aid
  • Participating in an emergency evacuation drill
  • Collecting enough essential supplies to last at least 72 hours
  • Learning about emergency plans at your children’s schools and/or daycare centers
  • Identifying emergency contacts
  • Making copies of important documents and storing them in an emergency kit
  • Discussing your emergency plan with family members and responding to any questions they might have

When choosing your disaster goals, keep in mind that they need to be as specific and concrete as possible. Vague or unclear goals typically never get accomplished. For example, many people choose losing weight as a goal at the beginning of the year. However, these goals are usually never realized because they aren’t specific, and a concrete plan isn’t made for completing them.

For preparedness, it’s also helpful to evaluate the current state of readiness for you and your family and go from there. That way the process of setting goals for the year won’t be too overwhelming. You can always start by taking an inventory of what supplies you already have and then purchasing other necessities for emergencies.

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