September is National Preparedness Month, and the American Academy of Disaster Medicine (AADM)reminds the public that disaster emergencies come in many forms, some natural and others man made. AADM strongly believes that every individual should be prepared with the knowledge of how to respond to disasters, and plan for their own family’s safety.
“We can’t always predict a disaster, but we can be better prepared for when a crisis strikes,” said Martin E. Thornton, DO, President of AADM. Dr. Thornton is an emergency department physician from Aubrey, TX and has participated in disaster response, both in the United States and abroad.
Physicians members of AADM are integral when it comes to community-wide disaster preparedness and recovery, but it is also important for every individual household to have its own plan in place.
AADM recommends following these emergency planning tips during National Disaster Preparedness Month to prepare your family for a safe year ahead:
- Think about the types of disasters that are most likely to occur in your community and how residents will be notified (e.g., hurricane, tornado, flood, blizzard, etc.)
- Consider the different safety needs for every kind of potential emergency
- Locate the nearest disaster emergency centers or shelters in your community
- Map out an evacuation route
- Post emergency phone numbers near telephones or program them into your mobile phone and keep it handy at all times
- Prepare a list of family physicians in the event that you or a family member is injured
- Store all necessary emergency items in easily accessible places
- Stock up on emergency items such as prescription medicine, eye glasses, drinking water, non-perishable food, a manual can opener, personal hygiene items, extra sets of clothes, and rain gear
- Select a location near your home as a meeting place, and another place to meet outside your neighborhood in case you and your family members can’t return home after a disaster
“AADM functions to encourage disaster medicine community resources that efficiently and effectively focus collective action toward preserving life, reducing morbidity, human suffering and restoring health capacity in disaster zones,” said Dr. Thornton.
AADM was created to promote disaster health care preparedness and to meet the myriad of needs created by the disaster planning, preparation, education, response, and recovery environment. One of the ways it accomplishes this is by serving in an advisory capacity to the American Board of Disaster Medicine which certifies qualified physicians in the practice of disaster health care.