September is National Preparedness Month. Take the time this month to develop a plan and prepare yourself, your family, your pets and your community for possible natural disasters.

National Preparedness Month

Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes so it is important to plan in advance: how you will get to a safe place; how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations. (

Here are a few tips to help you prepare and put a plan in place:

1. Have a family communication plan.

The family communication plans from FEMA are a good place to start.

2. Create contact cards for each member of your family.

Have each person keep these cards handy in a wallet, purse, or book bag.

3. Identify a family member or friend that lives out-of-state that could be an emergency contact.

Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact.

4. Subscribe to weather alert services.

Many communities now have systems that will send instant text alerts or e-mails to let you know about bad weather, road closings, local emergencies, etc.

5. Inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare, school, etc.

If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one.

For more information on how you can be better prepared for a natural disaster, visit