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                           Disasters Happen. National Preparedness Month 2018. Prepare Now Learn How
September is National Preparedness Month

September is recognized as National Preparedness Month and serves to remind all citizens of the importance of being prepared in case of an emergency--not just now, but throughout the year!  We must be prepared for any and all types of emergencies that could happen at anytime and anywhere.  Emergencies can affect us where we live, work or even visit!

This year's theme is: "Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How". Here are 4 helpful thoughts that can help you prepare for an emergency.

1.  You should have a plan of what you are going to do in case of an emergency or disaster.  Ideas of how you can prepare a plan can be found at www.ready.gov/plan.  Once you have a plan in place, that plan should be practiced twice a year- once during the day and once at night.

2.  It is highly encouraged to learn basic life saving skills such as basic first aid and CPR.  These skills may help or even save a family member, friend or neighbor during a disaster or even in everyday life.

3.  Check and update your insurance coverage as needed.  Insurance like homeowners', renters' and particularly flood insurance greatly assist with allowing communities and families to recover more quickly and fully.  Flood insurance is especially important during a flooding incident because most homeowners' and renters' insurance does not cover flooding under its policy.  Fast Fact: Floods are the most common and costly natural disaster in the U.S.  Just 1" of water in your home can cause up to $25,000 in damages and at least 25% of small businesses never reopen following a flooding disaster.   Something worth noting that approximately 80% of households impacted last year by Hurricane Harvey did not have flood insurance so don't become a statistic. 

4.  Lastly, save for an emergency.  Have a financial plan for a possible disaster.  Complete an Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (can be found at www.ready.gov/financial-preparedness) and maintain some sort of emergency savings for use in case of a disaster.  Keep in mind answers to such questions as: How will you pay your bills if a disaster strikes and will you have enough for expenses like food, lodging and gas after a disaster?  According to the Federal Reserve, over 40% of all Americans don't have $400 or more in their savings account.   

Important tip:  "Text, don't talk!"  Unless you're in danger, send a text to your contact person.  Texts messages may have an easier time getting through than phone calls because a text requires far less bandwidth that a phone call.  Text messages may also save and then resend automatically as soon as capacity becomes available, and you don't tie up phone lines that maybe needed by emergency workers.

Listed below are additional links that can help you and your family prepare for certain emergencies.  It is the responsibility for all of us to be prepared in case of a emergency or disaster! 

Preparing for Emergencies in the Town of Vinton
Learn how to prepare your family, pets and home for emergencies in advance. The following are basic tips for commonly occurring emergencies:

For More Information
If you have any questions or would like information about creating a family emergency plan, please visit www.Ready.GovReady Virginia, Ready Roanoke Valley, or contact the Vinton Fire Department at (540) 983-0629. 

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