Be Prepared for Emergencies
Gary Monk, CBCP
This article outlines what we, as individuals, can do to ensure the safety and survival of ourselves and our families
during and after a disaster.
The unfortunate reality is that in these financially challenged times, the budgets of our local governments may not allow for
them to be there to assist us for three to seven days after a major disaster. First priority is given to hospitals, utilities, public
So, as smart members of the community, we need to understand the need to have family emergency response plans for our
family as well as businesses. During or after an event is not the time to do your planning. Now, before the inevitable emergency,
is the time to do planning and purchase needed supplies.
I was exposed to this field in the mid-1980’s and got involved full-time after the 1989 Quake. Emergency Preparedness is
important no matter where you live in the world, but especially to those of us that choose to live in California.
In Northern California, we face potential threats from earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, tornados, wild fires and a pandemic.
Fortunately, there are a number of emergency preparedness resources available to you online.
One of the most comprehensive guides is titled Are You Ready? – An In Depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness.
The guide was revised in August 2004 to provide the most current and up-to-date Emergency Preparedness information
available. It provides a step-by-step approach to Emergency Preparedness by walking you through how to document an
emergency plan, how to develop and maintain an emergency communications plan, and how to prepare a disaster supplies
kit. The guide is provided free online by FEMA:
It is important that you familiarize all family members with the emergency plan periodically. We have learned from past events
that people have memory challenges during or immediately after an emergency due to the stress of the emergency. Practice
and review of emergency plans increases the odds you can use them successfully during and after an event.
Additional Public Sector Publications available to you on the web: