September is National Preparedness Month. During this month, the team at USAmeriBank is encouraging all individuals to think and prepare for potential disasters that can affect their family, friends, and community. We appreciate that many businesses within the community trusts our team with their financial future and feel that we have a responsibility to help ensure the prosperity and safety for our local neighborhoods. Our team is committed to serving local neighborhoods by actively pitching in, lending helping hands, and supporting the community in times of need.
Depending where you live, you may be exposed to a variety of potential disasters. These catastrophes may include fire, flood, hurricanes, earthquakes, and sinkholes. The risk to an individual neighborhood can be exponential depending on its location, population, and available resources. We understand that catastrophic events can impact entire cities and encourage our customers to think about how they can prepare their community for the future. Our team at USAmeriBank celebrates National Preparedness Month and takes this opportunity to educate our customers on ways that they can help to protect their neighborhoods. These simple steps will provide ideas on how you can observe the month while actively working on a plan to benefit your community.
Know Your Community
The first objective when getting your community ready for a disaster is to know your neighbors. Understanding the skills and resources that are available within your community can save valuable time if anything were to happen. Do any of your neighbors have medical or disaster related skillsets? Are there any elderly individuals that will need assistance if they are required to evacuate the area? Who in the community has a generator? Asking questions like these, identifying people that can help in case of an emergency, and being aware of those who may need assistance helps to prioritize resources when preparing for and recovering from an emergency.
There are many organizations within the United States that focus on preparing for potential emergencies. These organizations have local extensions who have built specific skills and expertise. Instead of organizing your own group, you may be able to leverage the experience of a larger organization. Scanning their websites and calling their local representatives can provide you with information, events, and ways to get involved. Examples of these organizations include the American Red Cross, Citizen Corps Councils, Medical Reserve Corps. and Volunteer Fire Departments.
Build a Team
As you identify community partners that focus on disaster preparedness, work to build your own team of neighborhood volunteers. Pulling together a group of community leaders that share your passion for preparedness can help you expedite your efforts. Spend time with your team to clearly identify the local needs and develop goals that need to be accomplished. Create a plan to achieve those goals and assign tasks across the team. Working together will ensure that multiple viewpoints are considered and that goals are accomplished in an efficient manner.
Communicate and Train
A motivated team with a well thought out plan is just the beginning. Take time to communicate with other individuals in your community. Celebrate events like National Preparedness Month and make people aware of your goals. Create easy to understand materials that build awareness and educate people on resources, processes, and risks. Most of all, work with your team and perform drills that simulate selected disasters. Learn from these exercises and update your plan accordingly. Leverage the partners to develop ongoing training opportunities including lifesaving, CPR, crime prevention, and first aid.
Our community’s collection of first responders, firefighters, law enforcement officers, and EMT/paramedics do an incredible job of keeping us safe, but they can't do it alone. We encourage leaders within the community to take an active role in preparing their neighborhood for potential disasters. For additional tips, checklists, and documents please reference the Department of Homeland Security’s preparedness campaign website, www.ready.gov. You can also learn more about preparing for your financial well-being by contacting USAmeriBank at 1-800-949-5666 or www.usameribank.com.