Here are four tips for taking disaster preparedness to the next level.
Disaster preparedness starts at home, but it shouldn’t end there. In planning for the worst, we can all do our best to keep our communities safe and secure. Here’s how to take preparedness a step further.
Be prepared everywhere Disasters can strike at any time, so be ready for them in all the places you might be. Have a plan for what you’ll do if a disaster hits while you’re at the office, commuting, or running errands. In addition to your three-day home emergency kit (see ready.gov  for tips), keep similar supplies in your car and office. The more self-sufficient you are, the more resources you leave for others who may be in greater need.
Work it Ask your employer about workplace disaster plans. Consider volunteering as a floor captain or signing up as part of the company’s preparedness team.
Get ready to pitch in Take first-aid and CPR classes; sign up at redcross.org . Learn how to use the defibrillators found at many airports, malls, and other public places. In a disaster’s aftermath, your participation can be a vital stopgap during the time it takes for emergency responders to arrive.
Customize your skills If you live in an area that’s prone to earthquakes, flooding, or wildfires, seek out location-specific training offered by municipal governments or nonprofit agencies. The skills you’ll learn can help prepare you for the disasters most common in your community.
Illustration by Ron Chan
This article was first published in January 2014. Some facts my have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.