The hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. Jamaica has seen its fair share of storms. Most persons will remember Hurricane Gilbert in 1988, Ivan in 2004, Sandy in 2012, and Matthew in 2016. Yet each year, persons have to be reminded of the importance of preparing themselves for natural disasters and emergencies. Here are five essential BE’s for emergency preparedness planning.
- BE A PLANNER
Failure to plan is failure to prepare. You have to sit down and visualise all the best- and worst-case scenarios, and think through what you would do if these things happened. Then make a plan based on what you would like to do in these scenarios, and equip yourself to execute it.
- BE INFORMED
Useful and accurate information will be one of your biggest assets in the middle of an emergency. Ensure that you have the correct details of evacuation routes, addresses and telephone numbers for emergency shelters, and other emergency care personnel. Make a list of these things and keep it in an easily accessible place.
- BE EQUIPPED
Based on your plan, make a list of all the things you will need. Don’t get caught off-guard. Ensure that all your essential electronic devices are fully charged and useable. Ensure that you have batteries, portable chargers, first aid and emergency kits, medicines and pharmaceuticals, food and water. Keep cash on hand as well.
- BE ALERT
You have to be aware of what is happening in your surroundings so you can make the best decisions. You must stay tuned to news and other reliable sources of information.
- BE CALM
Leading up to and in the event of the actual emergency, it is very important for you to keep your cool and think clearly. In moments of crisis, it is crucial that you maintain a calm demeanour and do the wisest thing. You must not panic.