National Preparedness Month: FEMA urges public to prepare a plan, disaster kits

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CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — September National Preparedness Month, and FEMA is reminding the individuals, families, and communities to be prepared for a natural disaster no matter where they live.

“Now is the time that everyone should have a conversation with their family, neighbors or loved ones to discuss what you would do in the event of a disaster in your area,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell.

Tropical Storm Fred and Hurricane Ida brought impacts to the southeast over the last month. With 87 days left in the hurricane season and the peak of the season just one week away, now is the time to re-check your hurricane kits and disaster plans to ensure you have everything you need to be prepared if disaster strikes.

FEMA has easy-to-follow steps that you and your families can take to help you get prepared – such as making a disaster kit that also includes your pet if you have one. This year’s weekly themes include:

Having a plan is always important; before, during, and after a disaster. Here are a few tips from ready.gov:

Prepping Before Disaster Strikes

  • Store important documents in a waterproof, fireproof safe or box: these documents include birth certificates, social security cards, passports, and other documents you may need 
  • Have a plan of action for all places. Do you know where to go when you’re at workor at the supermarket? It’s good to be aware of those on any given day
  • Know where a safe place is: go the lowest level of the building you are in, to the most interior room away from exterior walls and windows, you want to put as many walls between you and the outside

During Disaster

  • Seek shelter in the safe place of the building you’re in
  • Call family and friends to let them know where you’re located 
  • Stay up to date with the latest information

After Disaster Strikes

  • Call for help if you need it 
  • Assess any damage  
  • Don’t travel or go around looking at damage; allow for crews to clean up and restore power if needed 

The peak of hurricanes season is September 10th and runs through November 30th. Other disasters to prepare for include earthquakes, extreme heat, flooding, landslide, power outage, nuclear explosion, tornadoes, tsunami, volcanoes, wildfires, and winter storms.

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