Take Responsibility for Your Disaster Preparedness

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It isn’t a question of if, but when.

The reality of the world we live in is that an event – whether natural, man-made, or a public health emergency (like the COVID-19 pandemic) – will happen. And the event doesn’t care if you are ready or not, so everyone must play a role in their own preparedness.

September is National Preparedness Month, a good time to create your own disaster preparedness plan so you’re prepared for any type of disaster or emergency.

Being ready to self-advocate – standing up for your rights and needs – is an important part of taking responsibility for your disaster resiliency. Resiliency means being able to get past a hard time more readily. At the end of the day, when a disaster or emergency strikes, you want to determine your fate as much as you can. This way, you’re less reliant on other people and you leave less things to chance.

One way to include self-advocacy in your planning is to talk with people and organizations that could impact you if there’s a disaster or emergency. This could be your local emergency management department, your healthcare provider, a local nonprofit, etc. When you connect, others will know who you are and what you’ll need to stay safe, and you’ll know what to expect from them if there’s an event.

Another way to include self-advocacy in your disaster preparedness planning is to know your rights. Learn about your rights related to housing, employment, education, and so on. When you know your rights ahead of time, you’ll already know what you can advocate for when there’s a disaster or emergency.

For more information to help you take responsibility for your preparedness and to understand your rights, see our new resource, Self-Advocacy and Being Disaster Ready.