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Disasters Don't Plan Ahead... but You Can!

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Next month is National Preparedness Month. Since its establishment in 2004, National Preparedness Month is observed every September in the United States. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sponsors this observance by encouraging people to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities. FEMA's Ready Campaign distributes information to help people prepare for and respond to emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.

Findings from the National Household Survey in 2016 concluded that 75% of Americans reported having supplies set aside within their homes for emergencies. In contrast, less than 50% of American's reported having an actual household emergency plan in effect.

Although it is not for another month, it is always beneficial to be ahead of the game and prepare for anything life throws at you. Get disaster-ready early with these tips!

Have an emergency plan!

Establishing a plan for how your family and household will respond to any disasters and emergencies is crucial. The earlier you implement a plan, the more time family members have to learn what to do and where to go.

Plan for your pets, too! Your pet is an essential member of your family, so plan and research different ways to keep them protected and safe.

We also recommend signing up for alerts and warnings within your community. These alerts can ensure that all family members are staying informed even if they happen to get separated.

Make a Disaster Kit

Another part of being ready for an emergency is having the necessary tools and supplies readily available. Build a kit by storing individual items in air-tight plastic bags that you can then store in easy to carry bins or containers. Your kit should include enough materials to last 72 hours.

You're going to want to have food in your kit. Consider non-perishables and canned foods that won't go bad on you or require any preparation. Stock your kit with these ten essential healthy foods, so that waiting for the disaster to pass is much easier (and tastier).

1. Clean Drinking Water
2. Jerky and Other Dehydrated Meats
3. Canned Fruits, Veggies, and Legumes
4. Canned Soup
5. Canned Meat
6. Dried Fruit
7. Crackers
8. Canned Milk and Gatorades
9. Granola and Protein Bars
10. Freeze-dried meals and Desserts

Along with food, don't forget to include other essential items such as batteries, flashlights, a first aid kit, and any medications.

Organize your Finances/Important Documents

When it comes to preparing for disastrous situations, financial readiness is super valuable. Having your financial documents up-to-date, all in one place, and portable can make a massive difference during such a critical time. Make sure to replace or update any relevant documents that you will need to access. Check with your insurance company and determine if your policy will cover any temporary shelters, replace clothing and furniture, or any additional items that could be affected by extreme weather conditions.

Don't let a disaster strike without being prepared! Start planning now to keep yourself protected and safe.

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