6 HOUSEHOLD EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico’s population lived without electricity for a long period of time, some homes went without it for over a year. According to FEMA’s After-Action Report, the response was the longest sustained air mission of food and water delivery in the agency’s history. For most people, it was impossible to live comfortably. Within two months of the storm, 179,000 people had left the island for mainland United States, with no certainty that they would be able to return.
No one could have imagined the scale of the hurricane’s destruction, or how it would change daily life. Now, with hurricanes and other extreme events becoming more common, everyone needs an emergency plan that addresses their household’s needs. All good plans have similar elements: they outline how to prepare beforehand, how to stay safe during an event, and the first steps to take to begin recovery.
The strategies in this section will help you build an emergency plan that suits your household and your home. Planning with your neighbors and community can also help prevent property damage and save lives. The following chapter focuses on how to build collective community plans. It will also help you determine what you and your household need to do before, during, and after a disaster.