*Know your Resources!*
By: ali_marea
30 September 2007

One huge step towards preparedness of all kinds is knowing the resources that are available to you. In any emergency, be it natural or otherwise, knowing what resources are available to you will not only help you, but help those trying to remedy the situation.

  1. Know your local law enforcement.
  2. Have you ever taken the time to get to know anyone in your local law enforcement? If not, now is a good time to do it. Now, when there is no current emergency. Introduce yourself. If there's a local neighborhood watch group, get involved if you aren't. Let your local law enforcement know that you appreciate what they do and let them know you're willing to help if you can.

    Having a good relationship with your local law enforcement can go a long way to making a positive relationship between you and somebody who can help in times of trouble.

  3. Know what your local area emergency response plans are.
  4. Visit FEMA and Ready.gov. Both sites have a wealth of information on emergency preparedness as well as information regarding local emergency response plans.

  5. Take advantage of the free resources available to you to help prepare for emergency situations. FEMA currently has Independent Studies courses for CERT and Emergency Preparedness as well as Emergency Management. They are free of charge and you will be given a certificate of completion when you are finished with them. FEMA can also point you in the right direction to take any other local emergency related courses in your area.

  6. Know the best deals in your area for emergency prep purchases. Often, drug stores and mass merchandising chains (such as CVS and Wal Mart) have deals available where you can find sales that correspond with coupons in the local paper. You can get supplies for little to no money. These include, but are not limited to items such as: tooth brushes, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, cleaning supplies, personal hygiene supplies, etc.

    Another great resource for emergency preparations and supplies are flea markets, yard sales, and thrift stores.

  7. While it may seem simple, just having a basic understanding of your local resources can go a long way towards making you more comfortable and confident in regards to handling an emergency situation. It can keep you from feeling out of control when the worst happens, and will help you be more independent when the need arises.

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