September is National Preparedness Month

Are you ready for the unexpected? You never know when a disaster might strike your community, so it is vital that you prepare in advance to make sure that you and your family have plenty of supplies and a plan to carry you through.

When I worked for a major movie studio in Los Angeles years ago, the company brought in experts to teach us how to be prepared in the event of a disaster, such as a major earthquake. While living in LA, I experienced the Northridge Earthquake in 1994, as well as the Rodney King riots in 1992. During both of these events people rushed to the grocery stores for staples. Milk, bottled water, bread, batteries, flashlights and toilet paper flew off the shelves and were difficult to purchase within a couple hours. 

  Hanalei on the island of Kauai after a flash flood took out roads and damaged cars and homes in 2018. - Photography by Paul Garrett

Hanalei on the island of Kauai after a flash flood took out roads and damaged cars and homes in 2018. - Photography by Paul Garrett

At the studio I was taught how to prepare a disaster kit that we kept inside of a large recycling bin with wheels. In case we had to evacuate on foot, we could easily wheel it with us. I was also instructed to have a bug out bag for the car and to create a family communication plan if my family was separated during a disaster. My mobile kit contained all of the essentials, including a tent, blankets, food, water, a camping stove, medical supplies, personal hygiene items, spare clothes and cash. Instead of using a recycling bin, you may choose to fill a large duffle bag or a backpack with your emergency supplies that you can quickly put in your car if you need to quickly get away. Also make sure that you have a comfortable pair of walking shoes and blankets in your car. 

Don’t wait until a disaster strikes, because the time to prepare is now. Please visit the following links for more information. The first link has a suggested emergency supply list to help you get started.

https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/checklist3.pdf

https://www.ready.gov/september

https://www.epa.gov/natural-disasters/september-preparedness-month

  The communities beyond Hanalei were cut off by landslides that blocked the road and had to receive relief supplies by boat. - Photography by Paul Garrett

The communities beyond Hanalei were cut off by landslides that blocked the road and had to receive relief supplies by boat. - Photography by Paul Garrett

As you know, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, wildfires, floods and civil unrest can happen without much notice. We encourage you to prepare an emergency kit and make a preparedness plan this month. By doing so you will be able to get through a difficult event and you will also be able help your community during the recovery process. In the wake of a major disaster it may take days for help to reach you so it is best that you are able to take care of yourself. Once again, visit the links above for more information. Preparedness will not only help you through a crisis, it will also give you peace of mind.

Wishing you the best,

Paul

P.S. - We are reading "The 5 Love Languages" this month for our TSJ book club. We hope that you will pick up a copy and join us for the review and discussion at the end of September.


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