Preparedness Myths Busted


It’s true that September is National Preparedness month, but when it comes to what to do to be prepared for a disaster, deciphering truth from fiction gets much harder. Let’s review common preparedness myths to determine what actions are worth taking and how your family can best prepare for any emergency you may face.

Myth:  A disaster like that would never happen here


Fact: While it is true that some U.S. regions never have to worry about a flood from a hurricane or a blackout from a blizzard, all regions, regardless of location, still need to prepare for a disaster because natural disasters are not the only threat you may face. Man-made disasters like hazardous materials spills, transportation accidents or explosions can cause as much or more havoc on your community, and the best way to mitigate its impact is to prepare today.  

Myth: My pets can be left behind during an evacuation as long as I PrepMyths2leave them enough food and water.

 Fact: It is estimated that 600,000 pets were killed or were left stranded as a result of Hurricane Katrina.  Many pets lost their lives due to the immense weather, and others could not be taken into safety shelters so they were unfortunately abandoned. Whether you decide to stay or evacuate in an emergency, you will need to plan ahead for your pets. Include pet supplies in your emergency kit.  If you do decide to evacuate, do not leave your pets behind. Plan to bring your pets and your emergency kit with you. Remember that what’s best for you is typically what’s best for your pets.

Myth: 9-1-1 and first responders know where I am when I call

PrepMyths3Fact:  Mobile phones provided very little information about the caller’s location. 9-1-1 call takers are provided your general area based off the cell tour you are using, and rely on further details from the  caller to provide an exact location. Even though landlines provide an exact address, these locations can be hard for response teams to locate during a disaster. If flood waters are high, trees are down, or street lights are out, responders will need more than just your address to locate you quickly. Whether you are using a cell phone or landline, you can provide this additional location data to responders well before an emergency by creating a Smart911 Safety Profile at  With Smart911, you can create a profile that includes personal and medical information, but also details on your home, pets and even your vehicles. In the event of a natural disaster, it is exactly these details that can help responders help you.

Your family’s safety and preparedness starts with you! Download the Ultimate Preparedness Guide to take small steps today that will have a big impact later. 

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