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Flash Floods In Neighboring Arizona Underscore Preparedness Month

PHOTO: Fires, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes and other disasters can strike at almost any time. Experts say advance preparation can help people better respond and recover from the impacts of a disaster or other emergency. National Preparedness Month in September is a good time to make or update those plans. Photo credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture.
PHOTO: Fires, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes and other disasters can strike at almost any time. Experts say advance preparation can help people better respond and recover from the impacts of a disaster or other emergency. National Preparedness Month in September is a good time to make or update those plans. Photo credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture.
September 16, 2014

SANTA FE, N.M. - As National Preparedness Month continues, deadly flash floods in neighboring Arizona may serve as a reminder to New Mexicans how quickly a natural disaster can strike.

Estevan Lujan with the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management says people should have a plan in place that will keep their family safe if they are without heat, clean water or power.

"That's why we have Preparedness Month," says Lujan. "It's to get these folks that have never really embraced the idea of preparedness and the education of it to go out and prepare a kit, become prepared."

Lujan says important items for an emergency kit include one gallon of drinking water per person per day, non-perishable foods that can last up to three days, flashlights, blankets and first-aid supplies. He says it's also wise to have a family plan of action that includes how to contact one another in the event of a disaster.

Since disasters can occur while people are at work and kids are in class, Lujan says it's important for businesses and schools take the necessary steps to educate workers and students.

"Teach your students how to prepare," he says, "so they can go home and take that to their parents, they can understand how to make a preparedness kit."

Lujan adds preparing ahead of time can help people better respond to, recover from and lessen the physical, emotional and financial impacts of a disaster or other emergency.

When talking to children about disasters, Lujan recommends parents have an open and honest conversation about what children need to do so they can feel better about the situation.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NM