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September 5, 2011

Preparedness Monday

September is National Preparedness Month and a perfect time to make sure you, your family or your business are prepared for potential disasters. Remember that emergencies can happen at any time.

According to a 2009 analysis of responses to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), 78 percent of participants felt prepared for a disaster, but only 45 percent were objectively prepared by meeting at least 5 of 6 preparedness standards designated in the study. These standards included having a flashlight, battery-operated radio, a written emergency disaster plan, and 3-day supply of water, food and medications.

The study found that many American households may be unaware that they are not fully prepared for emergencies. The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends three simple steps to ensure that your home is ready to deal with an emergency.

According to Jonathan Links, PhD, director of the Johns Hopkins Preparedness Programs, “preparedness can't be a last minute activity.” Take this Monday to get re-acquainted with your household's emergency preparedness plans.

For assistance preparing a family preparedness kit, visit the American Red Cross at http://www.redcross.org/services/hss/lifeline/fakit.html.

For more information on emergency preparedness, visit www.ready.gov and http://emergency.cdc.gov/preparedness/.

Every Monday, the Johns Hopkins Healthy Monday Project, part of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, offers tips for preventing disease and injury, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Check back each week for new tips or visit our archive.