2011 was the most active year in recent history for disasters causing more deaths and billions of dollars in damage than ever recorded before. The U.S. experienced its first hurricane landfall since 2008, a deadly series of tornadoes, significant earthquakes, and severe flooding – hazards that impacted every region of the country. And it wasn’t just in the U.S.; Japan suffered over 50,000 deaths due to a tragic 8.9 earthquake that devastated a large portion of the country which is still in recovery. All of these events have served as important reminders that disasters can strike anytime, anywhere, and being prepared is one of the most effective things we can do to protect our homes, businesses, schools, and loved ones.
As we reflect on 2011 and get ready to ring in a new year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is encouraging all Americans to Resolve to be Ready by making a new year’s resolution to be prepared for emergencies. “One of the most important lessons we can take away from this year is that disasters can impact all of us, no matter what part of the country we live in,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “While we can’t control where or when they might hit, we can take steps in advance to prepare for them – efforts that can go a long way toward protecting our families, homes and business. Resolving to be Ready in 2012 could be the most important pledge you make this year.”
This year, make the new year’s resolution to follow our 3 steps to emergency preparedness: buy emergency kits and supplies, make a preparedness plan, and stay informed. And, if you already have kits and a plan, don’t forget to review, update, and replenish. By following these simple steps, you will feel better knowing that you and loved ones are prepared for anything mother nature throws your way in 2012.