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Making a plan is just step one. This week the Weston Emergency Reserve Corps recommends taking the next couple of steps towards actual preparedness.
Make a quick Go Kit for yourself (at least). In case you need to leave your house quickly in an emergency, have a small, dedicated backpack ready to go with at minimum copies of critical documents (e.g., passport, medical information), prescriptions, basic supplies (e.g., multi-tool, gloves, first aid kit, flashlight with batteries, phone charger), easy to carry food, water, cash, and any other items you would want to have if unable to return to your home immediately. Add a few extra masks and hand sanitizers for good measure.
Make a 72-hour Kit for yourself and your family. Designed to support sheltering in-place or leaving for several days, it is worthwhile creating and refreshing a full 72-hour kit. There are many sources of information for what to include in such a kit, including in Weston’s Community Preparedness & Response Guide and at ready.gov/kit. Starter kits are available for purchase online through a wide variety of vendors. Check out this PSA for some extra COVID-related precautions.
While you’re at it, make sure you know how to STAY INFORMED of evolving situations.
September is National Preparedness Month, so each week the Weston Emergency Reserve Corps is highlighting some specific steps everyone can take to be ready for a crisis. While we all may be focused on the coronavirus, a quick glance at the news makes it clear that we still need to be ready for damaging natural and man-made events.
Planning can be start as simply as having a conversation over dinner. Consider the following:
Make sure to update your plan based on the Centers for Disease Control recommendations due to COVID-19, including having extra masks and sanitizing products on-hand, and checking digital thermometer batteries (and having spares).
Take advantage of the many templates and checklists available to support your planning, including those at ready.gov/plan and in the Community Emergency Preparedness & Response Guide on the Town of Weston’s website.
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. While we will always need to prepare for the unexpected, there is a lot we can do to prevent - or at least decrease the likelihood of - crises arising in the first place.Wear a Mask - It is well-documented that wearing a face covering, preferably in the form of a well-fitting mask, can significantly decrease the spread of COVID-19. The CDC has great guidelines about when and how to wear them for maximum effectiveness and the state has created Mask Up MA! If you consider it mandatory, you will adapt quickly to the habit of always having it with you, ready to go. Of course, staying more than six feet apart from others, washing hands, and sanitizing surfaces and items are all excellent preventative practices as well.Get a Flu Shot - Flu season is arriving once again. While good COVID-19 preventative practices might help us avoid influenza, getting a flu shot adds one more layer of protection. Why take unnecessary chances of getting sick with anything, especially during a pandemic? Flu shots are safe and covered by almost all forms of health insurance. They are available now through many pharmacies, medical offices, and will be given by appointment at Weston’s annual flu clinic, scheduled for October 3rd (announcement forthcoming).Prioritize & Pledge - Weston is committed to a sustainable future. As we face the surging threats of climate change, it’s clear that our Town needs to take bold action in the face of the climate crisis to try to prevent the most dire impacts. That action is Weston Ahead. Take the survey by Sept. 18 to indicate what Weston should prioritize. They need input from Weston residents and business owners to identify your highest priority. Is it alternative transportation, smart buildings, composting, land use management, or something else? Once you’ve done that, make a pledge indicating what YOU will do to move Weston Ahead. Will you install solar at your home? Will you plant a pollinator garden? Will you commit to buying local food? Visit westonahead.org for more information.Small preventative acts now have the power to create a better future for all.