As winter marches on and Mother Nature throws everything she’s got at us, you can rely on Thiele Heating & Air Conditioning in case of a heating emergency. (links open in new windows) Even during the middle of this arctic blast, which experts are calling the “worst winter storm in history” our service techs are rolling, available for emergency repairs to your heating system 24/7/365.
But this massive snow and ice storm got us thinking about how prepared we are, in general, to handle a major emergency like this blizzard that keeps you in the house for days, or causes a power outage in your Indianapolis neighborhood for an extended period of time? Or, what if, not too sound to dramatic, we were hit with another major terrorist attack like 9/11, that basically shut down the country’s infrastructure for a few days? Would you be prepared? The answer for most of us is probably no.
To help improve our preparedness in the event of an emergency situation, FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, launched Ready America, a national public service advertising (PSA) campaign in 2003, designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies including natural and man-made disasters. The goal of the campaign is to get the public involved and ultimately to increase the level of basic preparedness across the country.
Watch this Ready America PSA from YouTube
- Make a family emergency plan – Your family may not be together when an emergency happens, so it is important to plan in advance: how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations. You can download a family emergency plan template from by visiting www.ready.gov/america/makeaplan/index.html
- Assemble an emergency supply kit – You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least three days. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it might take days. In addition, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off for days, or even a week or longer. To find a complete checklist of the supplies your household may need in the event of an emergency, visit www.ready.gov/america/getakit/index.html
- Be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses – Learn about the hazards that may strike your community, the risks you face from these hazards and your community’s plans for warning and evacuation. You can obtain this information by visiting www.ready.gov/america/beinformed/index.html
Additionally, FEMA recommends that you get involved in community-based emergency preparedness. To find organizations in your area that participate in emergency planning in your area, visit:
- www.CitizenCorps.gov to find local Citizen Corps Councils
- USAonWatch (Neighborhood Watch) groups
- Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)
- Fire Corps programs
- Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) programs
- Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) units.Ask these groups what you can do to prepare and train yourself and your community for disasters and how to get involved locally.
- Contact local chapters of the American Red Cross and National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster for local disaster preparedness and response service opportunities.
For more information about Indiana’s Emergency Preparedness programs and services, visit the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) web site.
Thiele Heating & Air Conditioning whole-heartedly supports the Ready program. We want to encourage our Indianapolis-area neighbors to make preparing for an emergency a priority in 2011. Let’s all be ready to face whatever nature, or man, has to throw at us.
Next up, we’ll take a look at FEMA Ready Kids, a child-friendly web site designed to help parents prepare their children to deal with emergencies
We will also discuss why every Indiana business should also have an emergency plan in place, and introduce the Ready Business web site, which provides an abundance of information about business continuity planning.