The Delaware Emergency Management Agency is reminding all that September is National Preparedness Month, the time to take stock of homes, businesses and vehicles to make sure they are prepared and ready for any emergency.
On average, September is one of the busiest months for tropical storms or hurricanes in the mid-Atlantic region. While temperatures may seem summer-like, fall and winter are around the corner, bringing the potential for storms that may affect Delaware. Of special concern to emergency managers in the state are the results of a “Business Insider-MSN” poll released in June that showed 24 percent of Delaware residents have an emergency preparedness kit, while 49 percent stated that they are “not at all” prepared for a natural disaster.
This year’s theme for National Preparedness Month is “Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.” DEMA urges Delawareans to learn lifesaving skills such as CPR and first aid, and check medicine cabinets and first aid kits to make sure they are supplied and up to date. Take time to review insurance policies and coverage for the types of hazards that could affect homes or businesses, such as floods, earthquakes and tornados. One inch of water can cause $25,000 worth of damage to a home, and most homeowners and renters insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Homeowners and renters should check with an insurance agent to see what is covered by current policies and find out if flood insurance is a good idea.
Home emergency kits should include a supply of cash in the event that electric systems are affected, rendering credit or debit cards useless. Recovery from a disaster may require deductibles or other out-of-pocket expenses to be paid prior to any reimbursement.
Don’t forget to “Make A Plan. Make A Kit.” A household emergency plan should take into account factors unique to the household, and include a communication plan. Existing emergency kits should be checked, and outdated supplies should be discarded and replaced. If there is not already an emergency kit, residents are encouraged to take the time to better prepare the home and family and put one together that meets the household’s needs.