By the Microsoft Disaster Response Team

“We cannot stop natural disasters but we can arm ourselves with knowledge:

so many lives wouldn’t have to be lost if there was enough disaster preparedness.”

Petra Nemcova, Disaster Survivor and Founder of Happy Hearts Fund

With the recent impacts of Tropical Storm Isaac, disaster preparedness is likely on the minds of many.  September 1st marked the first day of National Preparedness Month in the US. Throughout September the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the sponsor of National Preparedness Month, will be conducting extra efforts to encourage citizens to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies now.  It is a great reminder to those who have not yet established a preparedness plan and kit, but also a time for those who have a plan to practice and review supplies.

The Microsoft Disaster Response team supports the preparedness cause by encouraging a focus on preparedness throughout the month of September and connecting communities with technology tools that are available to assist. Have you considered how you will alert your family or access important documents if you are displaced during a disaster?

FEMA recommends preparing a family emergency plan to establish how you will communicate with one another, where you will meet, and how you will get to a safe place. Education and planning is the key to preparedness.

Preparedness Fun for Kids

 

Planning Tools for Adults

 

  • From tornado warning to flash flooding and everything in between, teach your family disaster terminology and talk about how your emergency plan will change depending on the type of disaster.
  • Plan for your pet. Click here for tips from Ready.gov on how to care for your furry friend.

Preparedness Resources from Microsoft

 

  • As part of preparing your emergency supply kit, consider the key documents, forms and information that you may need during an evacuation or in the early stages of impact assessment and recovery. Microsoft SkyDrive is free online storage that you can use to preserve documents, files, and photos and make them accessible from any device (including smartphones).
  • Access critical medical information for your family on Microsoft HealthVault by creating an emergency profile. Here you can manage and track your family’s medical contacts, allergies, medication, immunizations, and health conditions. Share this with friends & family and also print a copy to carry with you.

For more resources on disaster preparedness for your home, office, and community visit the FEMA website and Ready.gov.