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The United States has been swept with a natural disaster season of epic proportions with our country hit by multiple hurricanes, flooding, and wildfires. Are you prepared in the case of an emergency or natural disaster? We want you and your family to be prepared and ready for anything. So we have compiled this list of resources to assist you in disaster preparedness planning.

Create a family emergency plan
When was the last time your family discussed how to get out of the house in case of a fire or flood? Where would you all meet up if you got separated during a natural disaster? How would you communicate with one another that you were okay? Does anyone in the family have special medical needs, which requires additional planning? Who is responsible for getting your pets to safety? Visit https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan for detailed assistance with creating your family’s emergency plan.

Plan for the disasters that you are more likely to experience
Know what natural disasters and emergencies you are more likely to encounter and plan accordingly.
1) If you live in an Earthquake prone area, then practice Earthquake drills. Visit http://www.earthquakecountry.org/step2/ for information on how to be prepared for an Earthquake.
2) If you live in an area prone to Tornados, then practice tornado safety drills. Visit https://www.osha.gov/dts/weather/tornado/preparedness.html for what to do in a tornado.
3) If you are in areas prone to wildfires, there are things you can do to help your home survive a wildfire. For information on how to be prepared for a wildfire, visit CalFire’s Ready for Wildfire page at http://www.readyforwildfire.org/Prepare-For-Wildfire/.
4) Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the US. For information on how to prepare for a flood visit FEMA’s flood preparation page at https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1409002852888-3c5d1f64f12df02aa801901cc7c311ca/how_to_prepare_flood_033014_508.pdf.
5) Are you ready for more common emergencies such as power outages? For information on how to prepare for power outages visit https://www.ready.gov/power-outages.

Create a 72 hour kit for your family and don’t forget the pets!
In the event of a natural disaster, it can take up to 3 days before help will be able to reach an impacted area. So you should be prepared to take care of your family for 72 hours in the event of an emergency. You should have 72 hours worth of food, water, and medication. For tips on what to include and how to create your own 72 hour kits visit https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit, or http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Big-WHY-for-72-Hour-Survival-Kit-Items/, or https://www.thoughtco.com/72-hour-kit-for-emergency-preparedness-2159406, or https://www.utah.gov/beready/business/documents/72-hourchecklistpdf.pdf.

We hope you found these resources informational and helpful. HandsOn Central California is committed to serving the communities of the San Joaquin Valley. http://ow.ly/i/zQVf0


HandsOn Central California is excited to introduce you to another one of our amazing AmeriCorps VISTA Members serving with our Literacy by 3rd Grade Program.

“This year I decided to become an AmeriCorps VISTA member because education is very important and I wanted to help out. My goals are to make a positive difference in someone’s life. I am a student at Fresno State majoring in Sociology with a minor in Criminology. I like to travel and go dancing with my boyfriend. I like to hang out with my friends. I love having fun!”

-Sonia Martinez http://ow.ly/i/ylBye

HandsOn Central Calfornia is a Points of Light Affiliate. One of our sister organizations is helping to organize rescue and recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Please read and share this article that explains the needs and how you can help support those affected by Hurricane Harvey.


HandsOn Central California wants to send a great big thank you to all the volunteers recently placed at Habitat for Humanity Fresno County. Habitat for Humanity is one of HandsOn Central California’s partner organizations. Habitat for Humanity builds affordable housing for low income families to make the dream of home ownership a reality. To learn more about their mission check out their website.

We love our volunteers! http://ow.ly/cxch30ezLlu http://ow.ly/i/xTQiw

Calling All Seniors! HandsOn Central California is lo http://ow.ly/tux330ezKZj oking for volunteers ages 55 and older. Join the SeniorCorps RSVP program to get more involved in the community. Our volunteer opportunities are as diverse as the folks who live in them. We want YOU for your vast array of knowledge and skills to work to improve the community we live in. Stop by our office or check out our website for more information. http://www.handsoncentralcal.org http://ow.ly/i/xTPYH http://ow.ly/i/xTQ3t

Volunteers change us! Our neighborhoods, our children, our schools, our community, ourselves! Who has made a significant impact in your life, your organization, your community? It is not too soon to start thinking about nominating that special volunteer for the 50th annual Hands Across the Valley Awards for April 2018. Write down how they have changed you, put it away in a safe place, and you will be ready when nominations open up in January. http://ow.ly/pOYa30ezKnq

This post originally appeared on the Points of Light blog April 11, 2017