September 5, 2023

September is National Preparedness Month and a reminder that emergency preparedness is not just the responsibility of organizations and emergency responders. Individuals also need to have an emergency action plan at home and when traveling. 

Prioritizing personal emergency preparedness allows you to react more quickly and confidently to a crisis to protect yourself and loved ones. Whether it’s evacuating from your home because of a fire or seeking shelter during a natural disaster, being well-prepared allows you to think clearly and act decisively to take control of the situation. 

Follow these tips to create an emergency action plan for yourself and family: 

When At Home: 

  • Have a family meeting to discuss emergency plans and ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities. 
  • Know how to contact one another and where to meet in case of evacuation. 
  • Assemble an emergency kit with essentials like water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, batteries, a first-aid kit and important documents.  
  • Identify evacuation routes and meeting points and practice evacuation drills 
  • Ensure family members know how to safely turn off gas, water and electricity in case of leaks or electrical issues.  
  • Sign up for local emergency alerts and monitor weather updates.  

When Traveling: 

  • Before traveling, research the area’s potential hazards, such as natural disasters, political instability or health concerns. 
  • Invest in travel insurance that covers emergencies, including medical, trip cancellations and evacuations. 
  • Keep a list of local emergency numbers and the contact information of your country’s embassy or consulate. 
  • Carry a fully charged phone and a portable charger. Share your itinerary with a trusted person back home. 
  • Pack a basic first-aid kit with essential medical supplies. 
  • Keep some cash in a secure location and copies of important documents (passport, ID, travel insurance) in case of theft or loss. 
  • Learn about local customs, laws and potential risks to avoid risky areas and situations. 
  • Stay updated on local news and heed advice from authorities. 
  • Register for alerts in locations where you are traveling so you are notified of weather or other potential emergencies 

For practical steps on workplace emergency preparedness, watch Traliant’s on-demand webinar “Managing the Unpredictable: A Practical Approach to Workplace Emergency Preparedness.” 



Andrea Foster-Mack