Two Easy Steps for Emergency Preparedness, FEMA Says

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Two Easy Steps for Emergency Preparedness, FEMA Says

Still, a GE Generator Systems survey found more than half of American families were unprepared in 2012

MILWAUKEE--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Emergency preparedness is as simple as having a kit and making a plan.

It sounds easy enough, but last year 55 percent of families in the U.S. were not properly prepared for an emergency, according to a Harris Interactive survey sponsored by GE Generator Systems.

September is National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). All month long, GE Generator Systems—a coalition member of FEMA's Ready campaign—is educating the public about the importance of home preparedness. The Ready campaign each year urges families to keep an emergency preparedness kit on hand and create an emergency communication plan.

"It makes sense to think about preparedness in September," said Amanda Grandy, marketing manager for Briggs & Stratton® Standby Power, the exclusive licensee of GE Generator Systems. "The brunt of the hurricane season for the Atlantic and Gulf coast states is front and center and, as we saw last year with Hurricane Sandy, these events can affect a much wider swath of the population than just families on the coasts."

Emergency Preparedness Kit
Having an emergency preparedness kit of items that your household may need is critical prior to an emergency. Assuming that basic utilities such as electricity, gas, water, sewage, and phone service may be unavailable after a storm strikes, the emergency readiness kit should contain food, water, any necessary medications, lighting, and backup battery supplies.

Emergency Communications Plan
Planning ahead helps guarantee that families stay safe and comfortable immediately following a disaster. It's important to have a plan in place before disaster strikes because family members may not be together when it happens, according to FEMA. Things to consider in an emergency communication plan include:

  • Establish a family emergency contact point person. Identify an out-of-town contact because, depending on the situation, that person may be in a better position to coordinate with separated family members.
  • Make sure that family members know your home phone number and have access to a cell phone to call the designated emergency contact.
  • Establish a meeting location for family members in case communication is difficult.
  • Subscribe to emergency alert services, if available. Many communities offer emergency alerts via email or text that provide information about bad weather, road closings, local emergencies, etc.

Prepare Now for Future Storms
Another preparation homeowners can take in advance of the next unexpected storm would be to install an automatic home generator system. Standby generators automatically turn on and provide backup power when a home's utility power is knocked out during an emergency. These units allow homeowners to run appliances like air conditioners, heaters, refrigerators, clothes washers/dryers and lights. That means there is less of a need for things like non-perishable foods or flashlights that are common in emergency preparedness kits.

Standby generators must be professionally installed by electricians, so planning ahead is important. To learn more about how a home standby generator can prepare a home for an emergency power outage, visit

About Briggs & Stratton Corporation
Briggs & Stratton Corporation (NYS: BGG) , headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is the world's largest producer of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment. Its wholly owned subsidiaries include North America's number one marketer of portable generators and pressure washers, and it is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of lawn and garden and turf care through its Simplicity®, Snapper®, Ferris®, Murray®, Branco® and Victa® brands. Briggs & Stratton products are designed, manufactured, marketed and serviced in over 100 countries on six continents.

About GE
GE (NYS: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company's website at

Swanson Russell for Briggs & Stratton Corporation
Jeff Salem, 402-437-6409

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Wisconsin


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