February 12, 2013
Recently I had the opportunity to work with two anchors of NBC’s TODAY on an issue that hits close to home for many Americans: emergency preparedness. As part of TODAY’s special “Prepare with Al Roker” Al and I made a surprise visit to the home of TODAY’s news anchor Natalie Morales, shortly after her community was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.Naturally, Natalie was thinking about what she could do today to prepare and protect her family for future natural disasters. During our visit, Natalie showed us how she turned an evacuation drill into a fun game for her two boys by challenging them to gather all of their essential belongings in five minutes. Together, Al and Natalie demonstrated their dedication to the issue of disaster preparedness and how everyone can make preparing their households easy, affordable and fun! Here, you can watch the behind-the-scenes “making of the PSA” video that we produced with Al and Natalie, along with Al Roker’s powerful new PSA produced in partnership with the Ad Council: If Hurricane Sandy has you thinking about your family’s safety, here are some quick tips for how you can start preparing today:
- Build An Emergency Kit: Gather your essential supplies, and put them in an accessible place. Make it into a family game by holding a scavenger hunt to find what you already have.
- Create A Communications Plan: Collect your essential phone numbers, and make sure everyone knows them. Figure out how you would get in touch with your family if you were separated. Try a smartphone app or use email, text, or Twitter.
- Practice Getting Out: Try a version of Natalie’s game, and practice getting out of your house in case of an emergency. Pick a family meeting spot and challenge everyone to get there; make it a race and see who gets there first!
You can also check out Ready.Gov for more information and ideas.I’d love to hear what you’re doing to prepare your household. Follow me @Citizen_Corps on Twitter, and tell me how you are getting prepared. FEMA does not endorse any non-government entities, organizations, or services. Paulette L. Aniskoff is the director of FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division. She leads a national effort to help citizens prepare for disasters. FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.
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