GALLATIN, TN - (Marketwire ) - Throughout September, in recognition of the seventh annual National Preparedness Month (NPM), activities and events will take place across the country to highlight the importance of emergency preparedness and to promote individual involvement in preparation for emergency response. Area franchises of the restoration company SERVPRO are proud to be offering free preparedness materials for NPM.
The focus of this year's campaign -- "Plan Now - Work Together - Be Ready" -- is to encourage Americans to work together to take concrete actions toward emergency preparedness. SERVPRO often sees the benefits of emergency preparedness. "A disaster like a flood, fire or blizzard can be such a stressful situation to homeowners and business owners," said Rick Isaacson, executive vice president of Servpro Industries, Inc. "When our SERVPRO professionals service people who have taken steps to prepare for such a catastrophe, we realize their chances for staying safe and recovering quickly certainly increase."
Residents throughout the country can begin to prepare for a natural or man-made disaster by taking the following steps to lessen the impact on their families and their communities if disaster strikes.
Prepare an Emergency Supply Kit - You should plan for 3 days of supplies, so you'll need water -- a gallon per person per day -- and non-perishable foods. Then add basic tools (wrench, pliers, can opener, matches), fire extinguisher, flashlight and radio with extra batteries, a first aid kit, extra clothing and hygiene items, garbage bags and duct tape, copies of important documents (insurance policies, ID, bank accounts), cash and local maps.
Establish a Family Emergency Plan - Designate an out-of-town contact as your family's centralized, emergency communications facilitator in case your family is not together when a disaster strikes. Add that person's number to your emergency contacts on each family member's cell phone. If you can't reach that individual with a call from a cell phone, try texting.
Stay Informed - Learn about your community's emergency procedures and participate in activities planned during National Preparedness Month. You can also request checklists and other disaster preparedness tools from SERVPRO or at ready.gov.
While it's common for individuals to insure their homes, cars and possessions, and even to prepare living wills to protect their families in the event of some unthinkable accident, only 36 percent believed there was a high likelihood of a natural disaster ever happening in their community, according to a 2009 Citizen Corps National Survey. And yet, disasters can and do happen every day. In fact, FEMA has recorded 63 declared disasters to date this year alone, up from 59 for the whole of 2009.
"Being prepared for an emergency requires a team effort," says Isaacson. "First, families need to make a plan, and each family member needs to know what to do. Then, communities and businesses need to have contingency plans in place to ensure their residents and workers stay informed. By working together, individuals, families, businesses and communities can make a real difference in minimizing the impact that a disaster has on their lives and their livelihoods."
If disaster does strike, leaving fire, water or mold damage in its wake, area SERVPRO emergency restoration specialists offer an assortment of services to help local residents quickly restore damaged property. Within four hours of the initial notification, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will be on-site to start the mitigation process. (Exceptions may apply under certain conditions, such as a catastrophic event or a storm situation.)
Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO franchise system is a national leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO's professional services network of more than 1,500 individually owned and operated franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss situations. Providing coverage in 48 states, the SERVPRO System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners. All SERVPRO franchises are independently owned and operated.