September is National Preparedness Month

Since 2004, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Ready Campaign have promoted National Preparedness Month (NPM) every September.

In honor of NPM, take some time to prepare you household for an emergency today:

1. Make a plan

Because it’s almost impossible to know when disaster will strike, it’s important to make an emergency plan for a variety of disasters. Your plan should cover how you’ll receive emergency alerts, where you’ll go for shelter in case of an evacuation order and how you will contact loved ones.

2. Build a kit

You should have a fully stocked emergency supply kit that’s stored in a portable bag or tote so that it’s ready to go if you need to evacuate. A basic kit should include:

  • Water (1 gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation)
  • Food (at least three-day supply of nonperishable food)
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and an NOAA Weather Radio
  • First-aid kit, which should include cold and flu medicine
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Manual can opener (for food)
  • Cellphone with chargers and a backup battery

Be sure to supplement your kit with any supplies unique to your situation (e.g., pet food, baby formula and diapers, and important family documents).

3. Prepare for disasters

To limit the effects that disasters have on you or your family, review the common disasters in your area. You should also review your insurance coverage to make sure you’re covered for common disasters. Consider running practice drills at home so you’re comfortable acting fast when disaster strikes.

4. Communicate your plan with children

If you have children, be sure to talk to them about disasters and your emergency plan. The more they know, the more they’ll be prepared.

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