If Lewis County were to sustain a disastrous earthquake today, are you prepared? The recent 6.4 and 7.1 earthquakes in Southern California provide a reminder to review our individual preparedness plan.
During a disaster, our community will rely on emergency responders, government employees, hospital staff, and countless volunteers to provide aid. These individuals make up our response community. We have emergency response plans but studies show the ability to respond to a disaster rests upon the assumption employee will be ready and able to carry out their planned functions. We must consider our individual and family preparedness. “The reviewed research indicates that individual and family preparedness and the ability and willingness of responders is a significant issue in the decision of responders to report for duty in disasters.”
Are you and your family prepared for a disaster today? Do you have a preparedness plan for you and your family? Ready.gov offers a 4-step process to begin family preparedness planning:
Step 1: Put together a plan by discussing these 4 questions with your family, friends, or household to start your emergency plan.
1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
2. What is my shelter plan?
3. What are my evacuation routes?
4. What is my family/household communication plan?
Step 2: Consider specific needs in your household.
As you prepare your plan, tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance. Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan:
· Different ages of members within your household
· Responsibilities for assisting others
· Locations frequented
· Dietary needs
· Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
· Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
· Languages spoken
· Cultural and religious considerations
· Pets or service animals
· Households with school-aged children
Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan
· Download and fill out a family emergency plan or use them as a guide to create your own.
Step 4: Practice your plan with your family/household
I am attaching the FEMA Family Emergency Communication Plan worksheet (see attachment at bottom of page) to help you start your planning process.
Please ensure you and your family members are signed up for Lewis County Alert. The link to sign up for Lewis County Alert is on the home page of the Lewis County website. If you have questions regarding preparedness, please contact Emergency Management at (360) 740-1157. https://lewiscountywa.gov/
Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
 Cox and Landahl, Beyond the Plan: Individual Responder and Family Preparedness in the Resilient Organization. Homeland Security Affairs Journal, Sep. 2009, https://www.hsaj.org/articles/98. Accessed 8 July 2019.
S. Andy Caldwell
Lewis County Emergency Management
351 NW North Street
Chehalis, WA 98532
(360) 740-1157 – office
(360) 740-1471 – fax
(253) 780-7027 – cell