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Make preparing for emergencies a goal for the coming year.

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Members of the Washington Youth Preparedness Council for FEMA Region 10 offer some advice.

Hello, 2022! Many people in Washington are making their best New Year's resolutions as the new year approaches. They may have plans to stop watching streaming TV at home and start going to the gym more frequently, organize their messy home office, or start eating more healthy greens after recently bingeing on holiday treats and candy canes. All of these are excellent resolutions, but they can also be difficult to keep. So let me suggest another resolution for you, one where even the smallest effort will improve your situation.

The COVID-19 epidemic has taught us a lot over the past two years, including the value of being prepared for emergencies. The start of a new year offers an opportunity to take stock of how your family, company, or community dealt with the pandemic, harsh weather, or wildfire season. Even if you didn't personally experience any particular calamity, you most likely read over social media or watched your local news station where you witnessed folks all across the country who were severely impacted. When making plans for an unforeseen incident, being prepared for a disaster can not only give you peace of mind, but it may also save your life and the lives of people around you. Additionally, being prepared doesn't have to be an expensive endeavor.

a blie sign says build emergency kits.

It may be as basic as coming up with a communication strategy for emergencies with your roommates or gathering supplies for an emergency kit around your home. You are prepared for a lesser catastrophe like a power outage once you are ready for a bigger calamity like an earthquake.

The trick is to get ready right away.

Not knowing where to begin or feeling scared by the procedure? On January 25 at 12:15 PM, we will provide a webinar to provide you with some inspiration. Click this Facebook event to remind yourself. If not, make your own calendar invitation and click this link to join us when it's appropriate. Microsoft Teams is what we're using.

Also, here are some ideas from our FEMA Region 10 Youth Preparedness Council Washington members:

Just get started, advises King County resident Brenna O'Leary. You don't need to immediately have a perfect [emergency] kit. It's a good idea to pack a backpack with some food, water in bottles, additional batteries, and a flashlight.

Although she acknowledges that life is busy, King County resident Suniti Srinivasan stresses the value of being prepared. She says: "It may seem like an inconsequential issue right now compared to your already chaotic existence. You have probably already given top priority to a lot of other things.

However, Srinivasan continues, "those who have already made preparations will feel safer and that they have more control of the situation if a calamity does strike." "[Preparing for a calamity] only requires a small amount of time each month."

To connect with neighborhood resources, Lexi Berry, a resident of Snohomish County, advises both adults and children: "A piece of advice I would provide to anyone looking into disaster preparedness is to reach out. Although trying anything new can be intimidating, we always support helping others for the greater good and love to include people.

Are you curious about how O'Leary, Srinivasan, and Berry want to continue their work in catastrophe preparedness in 2022? Brenna will begin by implementing smart home fire safety: "I'm going to check and refill our [expired] fire extinguishers." She will also work on restocking her family's emergency supplies.

By verifying the expiration dates on any food items her family has stockpiled, Srinivasan also intends to replenish the emergency supplies in their possession. She will also focus on improving her financial readiness.

"This starts with having a known location to find cash and keeping financial documents safe," she said. "This is significant if there is a catastrophe and my parents' jobs are lost. They are still aware of their financial resources until they may resume their steady financial situation.

Remember the people in your family who depend on you, such as your pets and service animals.

Since some of my family members don't have phones, I will make communication and action plans, declared Srinivasan, adding that she also has "a pet whose needs I must take into account while drafting an action plan, so I should definitely start making one immediately!

It's time to impart your knowledge once you've studied disaster preparedness and put your plans into effect. Berry intends to share the word about disaster preparedness to others in her neighborhood. "I aim to take action and be more prepared by trying to disseminate the message to other community members," Berry stated. "Because I have realized it is crucial to help keep those around you safe following the year we have been through," she said.

Make being prepared for emergencies one of your New Year's resolutions! Visit mil.wa.gov/preparedness for resources on how to begin (or continue) your preparedness journey. Enjoy the planning!

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