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New year … new start! Now is the time for you and your family to make an important resolution for 2013 that won’t cost much and could save a lot of heartache: resolve to be ready for any emergency.
Whether severe winter storms, tornadoes, spring flooding, earthquakes, hurricanes or something else hits Virginia next year, you can be prepared ahead of time.
To get started on your resolution, make an emergency plan. Get a free worksheet at www.ReadyVirginia.gov or call toll-free 1-866-782-3470 to have one or more mailed to you, free of charge. Decide with your family:
• Who is our emergency point of contact? Choose an out-of-town friend or relative to be your contact. During emergencies, it’s often easier to make long distance rather than local calls. So choose an out-of-town person to call who can help communicate among your family members if you are separated from each other because of the emergency. Make sure every family member knows your emergency contact’s phone number.• Where are our meeting places? In case you can’t return to your home, choose a place to meet in your neighborhood and another place outside your neighborhood if you can’t get back in there. Your neighborhood meeting place may be a friend’s house on the next street. A meeting place outside your neighborhood may be a nearby church, store or another friend’s home.• Do our schools have emergency plans? If you are a parent, ask your schools and daycare providers about their emergency plans. Find out how they will communicate with families during a crisis. Ask if they are prepared to stay in school if necessary and where they plan to go if they must leave.• Do you own a small business? If so, find helpful information and steps on how to protect your business against disasters at www.Ready.gov.
Emergencies will happen, but taking action now helps minimize the impact they will have on our lives. Now is the time … Resolve to be Ready, and make your plan for 2013.