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Why Prepare

There are real benefi ts to being prepared.

• Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and losses that accompany disasters.
Communities, families, and individuals should know what to do in the event
of a fi re and where to seek shelter during a tornado. They should be ready to
evacuate their homes and take refuge in public shelters and know how to care
for their basic medical needs.

• People also can reduce the impact of disasters (fl ood proofi ng, elevating a
home or moving a home out of harm’s way, and securing items that could
shake loose in an earthquake) and sometimes avoid the danger completely.
The need to prepare is real.

• Disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives every year. Each disaster haslasting effects, both to people and property.

• If a disaster occurs in your community, local government and disaster-relief organizations will try to help you, but you need to be ready as well. Local responders may not be able to reach you immediately, or they may need to focus their efforts elsewhere.

• You should know how to respond to severe weather or any disaster that could
occur in your area—hurricanes, earthquakes, extreme cold, fl ooding, or

• You should also be ready to be self-suffi cient for at least three days. This may mean providing for your own shelter, fi rst aid, food, water, and sanitation.
Using this guide makes preparation practical.
• This guide was developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA), which is the agency responsible for responding to national disasters
and for helping state and local governments and individuals prepare for
emergencies. It contains step-by-step advice on how to prepare for, respond
to, and recover from disasters.

• Used in conjunction with information and instructions from local emergency
management offi ces and the American Red Cross, Are You Ready? will give you
what you need to be prepared.

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