Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have us asking ourselves—are we ready to respond to a disaster in our community? You are probably asking yourself the same question. To prepare, you must have your own plan in place first. Then you can help members of your community find resources to make their preparedness plans.
This September, National Preparedness Month focuses on planning, with the theme “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.”
To plan ahead for Hurricane Irma, spend a few minutes reviewing the following information resources from the National Library of Medicine:
- Hurricanes: https://disasterinfo.nlm.nih.gov/enviro/hurricane.html
- Floods: https://disasterinfo.nlm.nih.gov/dimrc/floods.html
- Harvey Health information bulletins: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USNLMDIMRC/bulletins/1b49585?reqfrom=share
Week 1 (September 1-9): Make a Plan for Yourself, Family, and Friends
Find resources for making personal preparedness plans:
- Ready.Gov Make a Plan
- Ready Responder
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Gather Emergency Supplies
- NLM MedlinePlus Disaster Preparedness and Recovery
- AAP Family Readiness Kit Are You Prepared for Disasters?
Week 2 (September 10-16): Plan to Help Your Neighbor and Community
Now that you are ready to respond to a disaster, here are resources to help your community prepare:
- Check out this FEMA resource: You are the Help Until Help Arrives
- Take this free online course: US Response to Disasters and Public Health Emergencies
- Find other free online disaster medicine and public health information courses
Week 3 (September 17-23): Practice and Build Out Your Plans
Practicing and drilling plans are essential activities:
- Find over 200 exercises to drill on, from NLM Disaster Lit® Resource Guide for Disaster Medicine and Public Health
- Which of your apps will work without internet connectivity? You may not have internet during a disaster. Turn on airplane mode if you have it, or open your settings and turn off both Wi-Fi and cellular data connectivity. Now test your apps to see what functionality they still have, if any.
- Bonus: try a new app from the NLM Disaster Apps for Your Digital Go Bag webpage.
Week 4 (September 24-30): Get Involved! Be a Part of Something Larger
Join the Disaster Information Specialist Network! It includes a discussion listserv, bi-monthly webinars, and free training to bring your skills up to capacity for supporting response efforts in your community.
Stay Connected: https://disaster.nlm.nih.gov/updates.html
Submitted by Siobhan Champ-Blackwell, MSLIS
Program Manager, Disaster Information Specialist Program
Disaster Information Management Research Center
6707 Democracy Blvd. Suite 510
Bethesda, MD 20892