Tuesday, December 31, 2013

CERTs: Are you "Ready" for 2014?

I think it's safe to say that we CERTs believe that we're better prepared for disasters than many of our friends, neighbors, and even family members. (Sometimes, we might even feel a bit smug about it.)

Then again, all too often, people find themselves falling victim to "Do as I say, not as I do" syndrome.

For 2014, resolve to do your part to use your CERT training to help your community (including your own family) be better prepared for disasters and emergencies.

Emergency Mommy: Put more meaning in your merry & give the gift of preparedness
Image by Flickr user emergencyinfobc, used under Creative Commons license.
But before you start going around asking people to "Resolve to Be Ready" in 2014 (which I hope you'll do... more on that in a moment), take a moment to look at your own preparedness:
  • Have you updated your family's communication plan in the past year? And have you reviewed it with your family?
  • Have you checked your 72-hour disaster supply kit, making sure no one's "borrowed" stuff from it over the past year, and checked to see that things like batteries, medical supplies, and prescription drugs are still good? (The same goes for additional kits, like in your car or workplace. And how about your CERT backpack?)
  • Have you stayed current in your disaster skills and knowledge? Taken refresher CERT training, or renewed your First Aid and CPR/AED certification? Downloaded the helpful smartphone apps from FEMA and American Red Cross, and bookmarked the FEMA mobile site? And liked or followed Fairfax County CERT on Facebook and Twitter?

Resolve for 2014

After you've reviewed your own family's preparedness, I hope you'll use your knowledge and leadership as a CERT to help your friends, neighbors, and community become better prepared in 2014. It can be as simple as posting a Facebook status asking people to check out Ready.gov's Prepared 2014 page, which reminds everyone that "Winging It" is not an emergency plan:

Together, let's make our friends, neighbors, and nation better prepared in 2014. Have a happy and safe New Year's holiday, and we look forward to seeing you in a prosperous and prepared 2014!

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