ADVANCE For NursesNatural or man-made, disasters can be frightening, chaotic, and tragic events.  In these events, nurses play a fundamental role in response and patient care. In our series, “Nursing and Disasters”, prominent voices in the field give voice to ensure that all nurses are personally and professionally prepared for a disaster.

 Fires, floods and tornadoes are the most common natural disasters in our nation.  If you live in an area where these are a threat, are you prepared for them? What about earthquakes, hurricanes or winter storms? In 2012 the nation faced threats and hazards that included wildfires, hurricanes, mass shooting and thwarted terrorist attacks.

These challenges are reported in the 2012 National Preparedness Report (NPR), an annual status report released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its partners, which include all levels of government, private and nonprofit sectors, faith-based organizations, communities and individuals.

The Presidential Policy Directive 8: National Preparedness, requires an annual NPR that “summarizes national progress in building, sustaining and delivering the 31 core capabilities outlined in the National Preparedness Goal.”  The five mission areas identified by the National Preparedness Goal are:

  1. Prevention
  2. Protection
  3. Mitigation
  4. Response
  5. Recovery

The NPR highlights progress made toward the National Preparedness Goal of a secure and resilient nation. It covers advances in our nation’s readiness, and also points to where improvements are needed.

No matter where you live in the United States, there are mobile apps that are great tools for all citizens. The Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) sends free informational text messages to WEA-enabled phones within range of an imminent and dangerous local situation, severe weather event, or AMBER emergency.  WEA also offers alerts in Spanish.

The American Red Cross offers valuable resources on how to plan and prepare prior to an emergency, as well as clear, concise preparedness tips categorized by the type of emergency.

Be informed. Make a plan. Build a kit. Get involved.