When the unexpected happens, sometimes the stress makes us forget even the most basic things, like where we keep our house keys. Being prepared means that we not only have a backup plan, but have practiced it a few times as well. Commuting is no different— if you were suddenly without a car, would you know what to do? Let Arlington Transportation Partners (ATP) help you plan and prepare during September, National Preparedness Month, so you are ready for life’s little earthquakes and blizzards.
Having a backup commute plan works at both the business and the personal level; no matter your location during an emergency, it’s important to have options. We have a few ways to help you get started.
Download the toolkit
ATP’s Emergency Preparedness Toolkit is a good place to start. It’s filled with ideas, resources, and information to help you plan and practice before an emergency happens. There’s even a worksheet for individuals to write out their emergency commute options.
Invite ATP to an event
Inviting your ATP rep to an event for your employees, residents, and tenants is a good opportunity for them to ask questions and receive personalized information. Lobby events and lunch-and-learn sessions are good options but your rep can create a customized event.
One of the most important parts of emergency preparedness is to practice— just ask fire fighters, who train nonstop. Training means you can rely on muscle memory and feel more in control under stress. ATP supports fun ways to get everyone involved—turn it into a team building exercise with our suggestions below.
Support a practice day
Follow up all your planning efforts by supporting an Emergency Commute event in your office or building. Pick a day when everyone can try their back up commute. Offer coffee and bagels for those who try, and give them some leeway if things don’t go as planned and they run a bit late. Talk to your ATP rep for other ideas and assistance.
Participate in Try Transit Week
Virginia promotes Try Transit Week every September, so this is the perfect opportunity for employees, residents, and tenants to try their emergency commute. This year, Try Transit Week is September 17-21. And you don’t have to limit it to transit—include biking, walking, carpooling, and telework as well. That way everyone will be ready for Car Free Day, a worldwide day that encourages everyone to use greener transportation. This year, the DC Metro region is celebrating Car Free Day on September 21 and/or September 22.
Take part in Arlington’s Disaster Relief Trials
Arlington’s Office of Emergency Management, with assistance from our friends at BikeArlington, is hosting the County’s first ever Disaster Relief Trials on September 29. Participants will use their bicycles to complete emergency-related tasks during a simulated disaster. Experience for yourself how useful bikes can be when cars and public transportation are suddenly not an option.
Since National Preparedness Month lasts a full 30 days, you have plenty of time to plan and practice. But don’t wait too long—work with your ATP rep now so you are ready for September.
Photo Credit: Sam Kittner/Kittner.com for Arlington Transportation Partners