Resolve to Be Prepared in 2011: FEMA

Families, businesses, and communities should focus on readiness and hazard awareness, agency officials say.

The 2010 holiday season and the countdown to 2011 should make all Americans aware of the need to be ready for emergencies, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency says. With that in mind, FEMA's Resolve to be Ready in 2011 asks individuals, families, businesses, and communities to focus on readiness and hazard awareness.

"Emergencies can happen at any time, whether it's a natural disaster or a power outage. Taking the steps to prepare for emergencies must become part of our daily lives. When individuals and communities are prepared, everyone will be ready to respond should a disaster strike," said Andrew Velasquez III, regional administrator for FEMA's Region V, which includes the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. (Minneapolis, Minn. had recorded 28.8 inches of December snow as of Dec. 20, when a record 4 inches for that day fell, according to the Star Tribune. Forecasters predicted the city's high temperature would remain below freezing through Dec. 27.)

Free tools and resources are available at www.Ready.gov or in Spanish at www.Listo.gov. The sites explain what to include in an emergency supply kit for your home and car, how to make an emergency plan, and how to prepare for winter storms and other hazards that may affect your area.

"Everyone can begin putting together emergency supply kits for their home, as well as their vehicle," Velasquez said. "Motorists can find themselves in dangerous weather conditions without notice, and it's important to be prepared for the unexpected." Resolve to be Ready is spearheaded by FEMA's Ready Campaign in partnership with Citizen Corps and The Advertising Council.

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