With September being the month of National Preparedness we wanted to give you a short checklist of what to do for being prepared:

1. Know your area and what disasters you might encounter – this will help you plan appropriately

2. Create a plan (even something as basic as knowing exit routes and local emergency numbers)

  • Include in your plan any unusual items you might need like medications or hearing aids as well as prescription information and doctor’s info.
  • Consider adding a communication plan in the event everyone is in separate locations
  • Consider adding a meet-up plan if members become separated or if the house is uninhabitable

3. Create a printed or written contact list and include at least one out of town contact

4. Create a 72-hour emergency kit with the essentials for each family member:

  • First Aid Kit
  • Portable emergency radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Cash
  • Duct tape (really – you’ll never be sorry you included duct tape J)
  • Toilet Paper, wet wipes, personal hygiene items
  • Notepad and pens or pencils
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Bottled Water
  • Pet Food (if applicable)
  • Children/Infant Items (if applicable – think diapers, wipes, formula, inhalers, etc.)

5. Know where your electric, gas and water shut off valves are and how to turn them off and make sure you have the tools needed nearby.

6. Meet your neighbors and find out if there is a neighborhood or community plan in place

7. Create copies of important documents and store them in a secure location, preferably off site

8. PRACTICE your plan – nothing beats a real live drill especially if you have any kind of special needs or young children or grand children.

9. Put a reminder in your calendar for twice a year to check your kit and your plan and update or modify as necessary.

10. Stay – calm. If you’ve followed the steps above you have a plan and a kit. You’re in GREAT shape to survive a disaster.