September is National Preparedness Month, and emergency preparedness is one of the best ways to feel safe and secure as you move through the world.
Unfortunately, most of us have had an up-close and personal view of the cost of being unprepared.
The COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying lockdown orders and quarantine took many Americans by surprise. One of the most enduring images of the pandemic will surely be the shelves of grocery stores completely sold out and empty of essentials like toilet paper.
The concept of “essential workers” was partially born from the needs of the unprepared. Essential workers were people like medical employees and those responsible for our everyday basics, like the Paraco truck drivers who provided fuel and warmth during the hardest times.
To be unprepared does not mean to deserve blame. No average person could have seen the hardships of the pandemic coming, and, understandably, many of us were scrambling for supplies and safety.
But we can learn an important lesson from the hardest days of the pandemic and have some essential items and knowledge on hand in case of future emergencies that could come in the form of things like extreme weather events.
We’re all worth the peace of mind that comes with being reasonably ready for the unexpected. Knowing how to prepare for storms, hurricane safety information, and more helps keep us safe.
And National Preparedness Month serves to prompt us to prepare.
The month encourages us to break down preparedness into four simple steps and accompanying mindset shifts:
Make a Plan
Having a plan to protect yourself and your loved ones before a disaster or emergency strikes can be the difference between inconvenience and tragedy. Suggestions are available for different scenarios at www.ready.gov/plan.
Discussing this plan with the entire family, including the children, is recommended. While it’s unsettling, having a plan will empower everyone involved. It’s also a good idea to practice your emergency plan in advance.
Think of the fire drills in school. We repeated them so often that the plan became second nature. These are the sorts of instincts you want to instill in your household.
Build a Kit
Make sure you have plenty of emergency supplies on hand, using this list as a guide: www.ready.gov/kit.
You’ll want to make sure that it’s accessible and portable in case you need to evacuate. Consider the everyday needs of your family: store extra medications, accessibility items, and even games and toys for children (and adults!)
It’s also a good idea to have important phone numbers written down on paper, as a backup to our electronic devices.
Make sure you have Paraco’s phone number, 1.800.647.4427, available — we’re essential workers, and we’ll do our best to help with anything regarding your home’s propane.
Low-Cost, No-Cost Preparedness
We realize that building a Go Kit takes money that may not be available for many people. But some ways to prepare yourself and your family won’t strain the household financially.
There are free, downloadable preparedness resources available at www.ready.gov/publications. Take advantage of these to get ahead of an emergency.
Practicing your aforementioned drills regularly is free and saves precious moments of confusion that can make all the difference.
And simply knowing the risks in your area puts you ahead of the game at no cost. Sign up for emergency alerts at www.ready.gov/be-informed, and research the potential weather risks in your region.
Teach Youth About Preparedness
It can be complicated to talk to children about the potential of disasters. Of course, you don’t want to frighten them unnecessarily, but it’s also important that they know what to do to stay safe in the event of an emergency.
A great resource with tips on talking to children about natural disasters is available at www.ready.gov/kids/parents.
At Paraco, we’re keenly aware of the risks our modern world faces, and we have stringent safety protocols in place both at our own facilities and in the process of serving our customers’ homes.
We’re also proud to work with propane, a certified green fuel that lessens our global emissions and doesn’t contribute to the environmental changes causing extreme weather disasters.
We’re here for the planet, and we’re here for you. Contact us if you would like to get started with propane or have any safety questions.
Be prepared. Stay safe. Be happy.