September is national preparedness month, and Ready.gov and FEMA are offering several resources to help communities protect themselves from disaster.

When disaster strikes during work, Ready.gov encourages management to have an evacuation route, and regularly practice using it. They also suggest taking a critical look at the security of ventilation systems to determine how safe employees would be from particulate matter. Managers should think about having the necessary supplies on hand if employees can’t go home.

Learn more about workplace preparedness here.

But government workers also must care for residents after a disaster. The following links can be made available to communities via municipal websites or other means of electronic communication.

How to protect young children. Remember that young children will have special needs. Plan for needs such as diapers, formula, clothing and medication.

How to protect senior citizens. Seniors also have special needs. Be sure a network of friends and neighbors understand and an elderly person’s needs, medication and equipment.

Protecting pets during emergencies. Many shelters do not allow animals, so families must plan ahead for sheltering alternatives if pets are not included in the evacuation plan.

Setting up a communications plan. A family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it’s important to plan ahead on how you will contact each other. Remember that electronic means of communication may be affected depending on the severity of the disaster. 

Planning escape routes. Residents should map out detailed escape plans from their homes. If homes are more than one story, make sure the route includes an escape ladder.

Financial disaster. Being ready for a disaster means more than stockpiling supplies. Saving now to pay bills and having access to important records and financial accounts will help residents get back on their feet quickly.

Stay connected. Residents can sign up to get text messages from FEMA.

The Atlanta Better Business Bureau, in a statement highlighting the governmental resources available to the general population, reminds families to have drills regularly.

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