The Power of Preparation

Baldwin EMC Board of Trustees

Baldwin County is growing. That’s no secret. And most of the growth we’re currently experiencing isn’t due to people expanding their families, but rather, people relocating to our area from other counties and states.

Many of our newest residents have joined us in the past couple of years. And because of that, they may have little to no experience dealing with hurricanes or the other major weather events that affect the Gulf Coast.

If you’re one of those fine folks, this column is for you. Please retain this information and keep it handy, now that we’re in the most active stage of hurricane season. September is also National Preparedness Month, so what better time for a quick course on being prepared, not scared?

During a prolonged power outage or other emergency, being prepared means having enough food, water and supplies to last at least a few days.

While you don’t have to achieve a “doomsday prepper” level of preparedness, there are several practical steps you can take to keep you and your family safe.

Even at a modest level, preparation can help reduce stress, anxiety and lessen the impact of an emergency event.

Start by assembling a grab-and-go disaster kit. Include items like nonperishable food, water (one gallon per person, per day), diapers, batteries, flashlights, prescription medications, first-aid kit, battery-powered radio and phone chargers.

Store important documents (birth certificates, property deed, etc.) in a waterproof, fireproof locked container, or in safe place away from home (for example, a bank safe deposit box).

Develop a plan for communicating with family and friends, with the understanding that cellular reception can be scarce in the days and weeks following a hurricane. It’s also a good idea to keep your neighbors and coworkers apprised of your emergency plans.

If you or someone in your care uses medical equipment that relies on electricity, such as an oxygen machine, nebulizer or even a motorized lift chair, make plans now for how you’ll access electricity during a prolonged power outage. And don’t forget to check your device’s backup battery regularly. If you have older family members or those with special needs, make sure they have enough medication and supplies for a few days.

For those families with an infant or young children, make certain that you have ample formula, diapers, medication and other supplies on hand to weather an outage lasting several days or more. For families with pets, you’ll need to take their needs into consideration as well. Keep in mind, not all shelters and hotels are pet friendly, so a little bit of advanced research can reduce your stress and worry if you have to evacuate.

For more tips on how you can be prepared instead of scared, visit Baldwin EMC’s Storm Central page at www. baldwinemc.com/safety/storm-central. And as always, if you have any questions we can answer, contact us at (251) 989-6247.

Top