Preparedness covers those actions that individuals, communities and businesses take in order to prepare themselves for the effects of a disaster before it happens. There are general preparedness activities that are not disaster-specific, such as having a flashlight and radio handy and having a basic knowledge of safety tips for various hazards. There are also preparedness activities that relate to particular disasters to which an area may be prone, such as a safe-room built to withstand a tornado. The more prepared we all are for disasters, the less loss of life and damage to property will occur and the quicker a community will bounce back.
Individual and family preparedness
Individuals and families should have a disaster kit ready in their homes and vehicles. They should have a plan as to what to do and where to go during foreseeable emergencies. And they should stay alert to bulletins during times of heightened danger, such as a flood warning. Using the links immediately below, you can find information on making a disaster kit, download a brochure on creating a disaster plan, and read safety tips that are useful during severe weather.
The governmental agencies and other quasi-public organizations that perform important governmental functions must take care of themselves during an emergency, as well as perform their function of assisting their constituents. This includes the standard emergency response agencies such as police, fire and medical services, but it also includes sewer and water, health inspectors, and elected officials. All communities should have an up-to-date Rapid Response Plan on file with Vermont Emergency Management and a designated Local Emergency Management Director. Communities are also encouraged to develop and Emergency Operation Plan and a Hazard Mitigation Plan. Residents should contact their town offices for more information and local officials are encouraged to contact LCPC or Vermont Emergency Management (VEM) for assistance.
Loss of a private business due to the effects of a disaster can obviously ruin the business and its employees' livelihood, but if it happens to many business or a large, critical one it can also cripple local economies. While businesses can do their part to support their communities and employees in their own preparedness efforts, a business can also take actions that will help it weather the strain a disaster can deliver. The Institute for Business and Home Safety is a great resource, access shier web site from the link below.
Response is the immediate effort by response agencies and the general public during and after the disaster to save lives and property. Proper equipment, training and coordination among responder agencies and a well-educated and resilient general public will make response activities more effective when they are needed. Besides the neighborly acts where people assist each other in times of disaster, most response activities are carried out by your local response agencies, then state and federal resources arrive in severe and extended disasters. These agencies need your support so that they are equipped to serve you. They often need volunteers to join them or assist them, and they need your cooperation during disasters so that they can do their jobs properly.