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Do one simple thing to make you safer during Disaster Preparedness Week, 18-24 September.

Wednesday September 6, 2017

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Do one simple thing to make you safer.

We all face emergencies: whether as large as a bushfire or as personal as a home accident.   

Emergencies can be devastating in ways you don't expect, but there are simple and practical steps you can take to protect yourself, the people you love, and the things you value most.  

The more prepared you are for emergencies, the less stressful they become.  

During Emergency Preparedness week, Australian Red Cross is asking people to do one simple thing to make you and your family safer during the upcoming emergency season.  

Here are some simple things you can do:  

1. Prepare your mind

Let's face it, emergencies are scary and stressful!  

They create upheaval and havoc faster than you have time to process what's going on, and can take years to recover from.  

When most people experience a lot of stress they don't think as clearly as usual, affecting decisions and reactions.  

Taking the time to prepare your mind could help you respond to an emergency better.  

First, anticipate how you and your family are likely to feel, think and respond in during and after and emergency, and determine ways you could support each other.  

 It's really important to invest in your mental wellbeing now and know some good ways to cope with negative stress when it happens.  

There are simple ways you can mentally prepare: like connect with friends and family, and being physically active.  

2. Start a conversation

You've just switched on the news and seen that a fire is coming, and your suburb should evacuate. What do you do next? Who would you tell?  

Being in an emergency is not something people usually think about, let alone talk about.  

But if something were to go terribly wrong, it's the people around you, like your family and neighbours, who will help you the most.  

They could be there well before emergency services. They can stay long afterwards, to help you recover and get back on your feet.  And maybe you could do the same thing, for them.  

Tip - A great way to start a conversation is to get people thinking about a particular emergency situation that is happening somewhere in the world today.  Ask them how they'd feel? Ask how you might support each other?  

Finally, take the time to meet your neighbours - the people in your building or street are VERY useful to know - they'll be the first people you turn to when an emergency happens.  

3. Protect what matters most

If an emergency were to happen, who and what would you most want to protect?  

Firstly, think about the people you would want to be safe. Do you know all their numbers by memory? If not write them down! You may not have power for days so your mobile might not work.  

Are there people or animals that you care for that have special medical needs that you should write down?   How about the things that you own - your house or your car, or more sentimental items like family heirlooms? Do you have important insurance documents that you need copied?  

And once the emergency is over, what are the important services you'll need to contact?   

4. Get packed and ready to go

Think like a scout and "Be Prepared!"

One of the most practical ways to do this is by having an emergency kit ready.  

There are two kinds of things you need to pack:

  • Items that will help you survive during the emergency.
  • Items that will help you recover after the emergency.

Survival items are the things that might get you through days without water or power, or help you to make do whilst roads are cut off, and shops remain closed.  

Recovery items are those important things you'll need after, to rebuild your life.   You could include copies of important documents like house titles, or insurance details.  

Make sure that you pack sentimental things that will help you to feel calm when the rest of your life is in upheaval. Things like photographs, or sentimental jewellery, trophies, or a favourite toy for your kids.  

These are important things to help you rebuild after an emergency.  

For a comprehensive guide to help you prepare for an emergency, Download our Redi-Plan.