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National Preparedness Month is a nationwide coordinated effort held each September to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, communities and schools.

Each September, CAI urges all members to take some simple steps to become better prepared for emergencies including:

  • Get a Kit—Get a kit of emergency supplies that will allow you and your communities to survive for at least three days in the event an emergency happens. Go to www.ready.gov and www.redcross.org for a complete list of recommended supplies.
  • Make a Plan—Plan in advance what you and your community will do in an emergency. Go to www.ready.gov and www.redcross.org/prepare for more information and templates to help get you started.
  • Be Informed—Learn more about different threats that could affect your community and appropriate responses to them. Go to www.ready.gov and www.redcross.org/prepare for more information about natural disasters and potential terrorist threats.
  • Get Involved—After preparing yourself and your communities for possible emergencies, take the next step: get training in first aid and emergency response and get involved in preparing the community at large. Visit www.citizencorps.gov or www.redcross.org/prepare to find out about training and volunteer opportunities through your local Citizen Corps Council or American Red Cross Chapter.


​Resolve now to make sure your family has a plan in case of an emergency. Before an emergency happens, sit down together and decide how you will get in touch with each other, where you will go and what you will do in an emergency.

Why is this important? Families may not be together when an emergency happens, and if you have a written family emergency plan, then you and your loved ones will be better able in every way to handle an emergency.

Here’s what to do:

  • Talk about the types of emergencies that could happen to you–include weather emergencies and other natural disasters and human-caused situations.
  • Decide on a meeting place in case you cannot return home. Choose a neighborhood meeting place and another meeting place if you can’t get to your neighborhood. Also, if you have pets, choose a destination that accepts pets if you ever need to evacuate your home for any length of time.
  • Choose an out-of-town friend or relative as an emergency point of contact. The reason this is important is that it may be easier to make a long distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact can help communicate among separated family members. Be sure everyone in your family carries the phone number for that person.
  • If you are a parent, ask your schools and daycare providers how they will communicate with families during a crisis. Ask if they are prepared to “shelter in place” if needed and where they plan to go if they must leave.

Write down your family emergency plan. You can get a printable Family Emergency Plan worksheet at www.ready.gov/make-a-plan.