FEMA AND MEMA hurricane preparation info available online

Published 6:12 pm Friday, June 13, 2008

The 2008 hurricane season is here and storm preparedness information is available online at the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Web sites.

FEMA’s online products range from simple steps a family should take in advance of a storm to a list of specific items to include in a disaster supply kit. These online products are available at www.fema.gov. Among other things, the site defines hurricanes, explains their categories, lists hurricane names and outlines what to do before, during and after a hurricane.

MEMA’s web site offers tips for families on what items should be included in their disaster kit. The site also gives important information on how to develop a family communication and evacuation plan in case evacuations are ordered. These tips can be viewed at www.msema.org.

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One of FEMA’s most comprehensive publications, “Are You Ready? An In-Depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness,” also is available online. The guide provides a step-by-step approach to disaster preparedness by walking readers through how to become informed about local emergency plans, how to identify hazards that affect the local area, and how to develop and maintain an emergency communications plan and disaster supplies kit. Other topics include evacuation, emergency public shelters, animals in disaster, and information specific to people with disabilities.

The FEMA web site includes a “FEMA for Kids” section — www.fema.gov/kids — that speaks to children in terms they can understand about hurricanes and other disasters. Herman, P.I.C.. (the Particularly Important Crab) directs children through the Web site. One section defines hurricanes, explains things to know, how to create a disaster “go-kit,” how to be pet-prepared, how to protect a home from hurricanes and the importance of weather radios, among other useful information.

FEMA also has a citizen preparedness DVD titled, “Getting Ready for Disaster – One Family’s Experience.” The DVD guides viewers through important steps of disaster.

The Department of Homeland Security’s www.ready.gov web site has a series of links that provide information for children as well as adults about what to do when a disaster approaches. The Web site encourages readers to have a kit of emergency supplies, make a plan for what to do in an emergency and be informed of what might happen.