September is National Preparedness Month, and it’s the perfect time to make sure you’re prepared for disasters or emergencies of all types.  

Here are two steps you can take today to prepare your family and keep them safe, whether we’re facing a global pandemic or a severe thunderstorm. 

Step 1: Create an emergency kit. 

Consider what your family would need to remain comfortable for an emergency lasting at least 72 hours and create a kit that’s easily accessible. Include the following items: 

  • A first aid kit 
  • Medication and prescriptions 
  • Batteries and portable chargers for your electronics, like cell phones or tablets 
  • One gallon of water per person per day 
  • Enough non-perishable food to last three days 
  • Manual can opener 
  • Flashlights 
  • Toiletry items 
  • Pet food and supplies 

Store your emergency kit in a cool, dry place. And make sure all family members know where to find it. 

Step 2: Create an emergency plan. 

  • Develop and document an evacuation plan for family members and potential visitors who may get caught in the middle of an emergency. 
  • Know where to stay depending on the type of storm. If there’s a thunderstorm, heavy rain, or snow, stay indoors. For hurricanes or tornadoes, head to your basement or seek a local shelter. 
  • Know who to contact. Create a support network and a communication plan to stay informed. Include a list of emergency contacts, like family members, neighbors and doctors. 

If you don’t have an emergency plan, there’s no better time than now to create one. And don’t worry, every September we’ll remind you to evaluate your plan based on your family’s changing needs.  

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Stay prepared and stay safe!