“In case of emergency” is a phrase that we’re all familiar with. So familiar, in fact, that we sometimes just ignore it. That “emergency” seems so unlikely and far off – and we have stuff to deal with right now!
But – as the past weeks and months have shown us – emergencies happen all the time. As I write this, there are wildfires blazing out west, folks have begun to wade through the devastation of Hurricane Ida in the south, and there’s a resurgence of the pandemic everywhere. There’s never been a more important time to protect your loved ones by being prepared.
Luckily, September is National Preparedness Month, and there are lots of great ways to help us prioritize our “in case of emergency.”
- Test Your Readiness - Take this quiz to find out if you’re prepared. Then check out these disaster resources from Illinois Extension.
- Make a Plan – Ready.gov has amazing resources to walk you through all the steps of planning for an emergency. Their Family Emergency Communication Plan is especially helpful!
- Get Alerts & Warnings – Download a good weather app to your smartphone and be sure that your devices can receive Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs). Visit the website of your local town or city. They may have the option to sign up for email or text alerts when there is a local issue. Plus, the National Weather Service has a map with all active weather warnings.
- Build a Kit – Not sure what to put in it? There are great suggestions from Ready and Red Cross. The National Safety Council has great suggestions of things to keep in the car, too!
- Get the Whole Family Involved
- Ready Kids has games, activity books, and a communication plan just for kids.
- Teens can take on a more active role with programs like the Youth Preparedness Council or Teen CERT. Or they can get involved through their local Extension unit with MyPI, offered by Illinois Extension and around the county.
- Take a Class – First Aid, CPR, and AEDs may be lifesaving in an emergency. Are you certified? Are your kids? Look for local training classes through organizations like Red Cross or American Heart Association. You can also become a weather spotter with NWS SKYWARN training.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Emily Schoenfelder joined the Illinois 4-H team in 2017. Prior to this, she began her work in positive youth development with California 4-H and the YMCA. She specializes in STEM engagement, social-emotional development, and educator professional development. She received a Master of Science degree in recreation, park, and tourism administration from Western Illinois University. When she is not leading a training, writing curriculum, or developing new partnerships, you may find Emily sitting on the floor of her office, building marshmallow catapults out of popsicle sticks or designing mazes for robots for her next STEM program.
ABOUT THE BLOG
Connection Corner is a blog that provides timely information, activities, and resources to help you stay connected to loved ones, the world around you, and yourself.