Monday, September 10, 2018

National Preparedness Month Day 10--Threat Assessment

Part of being prepared is knowing what to be prepared for and part of knowing what to be prepared for is to do a threat assessment.  The most basic type of threat assessment you can do is to determine what types of hazards you are most likely to encounter where you live.  If the hazard occurs, how would it impact you and your community, then knowing what the impact may be, how would you prepare for such incidents?

There are a number of threat assessments which have already been done that can help you begin.  Each state has done threat assessments to determine what risks there are state-wide, and most counties and cities have done similar assessments.  Simply Google your state, county, and city to find similar plans for your area.  It's pretty dry reading but will give you a general overview of hazards you should be concerned with. 

Next, after doing some research, make a list of the natural and man-made hazards most likely to impact your area.  When you walk and drive around your community, make note of any specific hazards you see which could become future problems (like creeks near your home that could flood, natural gas pipelines that run near your home, etc).

Your list of threats should include personal (home fire, school shooter if you have kids in school), man-made (natural gas pipeline, railroad nearby which often is use to transport petroleum and chemicals, high profile tourist area, etc), and natural (hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, etc) threats.  Put your list of potential hazards in order from most likely to happen to least likely to happen.  Eventually you want to become familiar with all types of hazards--from tsunamis and pandemics to tornadoes and wildfires since you never know what might happen when you are on vacation--but your top priority should be to prepare for what is most likely to happen in your area.

Google "how to prepare for (hazard)" for each of your most likely hazards then make a list of things you need to do.  If hurricanes are common in your area, you will find thousands and thousands of 'how to prepare for a hurricane' pages online.  Study these pages and then create a "to do" list to prepare for a hurricane which might include: determining how to evacuate, buying storm shutters, signing up for community alerts, checking your home insurance to see if you are covered for hurricanes, etc.

The more you know about common disasters in your area and the more prepared you are ahead of time, the more likely you are to survive when a disaster unexpectedly hits.

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