September is National Preparedness Month, which serves as a reminder that we all must take action to prepare, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and visit.The 2019 theme is “Prepared, Not Scared.” Emergency Preparedness is something everyone needs to be a part of.Take time to learn lifesaving skills − such as CPR and first aid, check your insurance policies and coverage for the hazards you may face, such as flood, earthquakes, and tornado’s. Make sure to consider the costs associated with disasters and save for an emergency. Also, know how to take practical safety steps like shutting off water and gas.The devastating hurricanes and wildfires of 2017 and 2018 reminded the nation of the importance of preparing for disasters. Often, we will be the first ones in our communities to take action after a disaster strikes and before first responders arrive, so it is important to prepare in advance to help yourself and your community.It is important to consider three scenarios when planning for an emergency: 1) an escape route and meeting point if everyone is in the house; 2) what to do during a school day; and 3) how to handle an emergency during the weekend, when family members might be scattered.Although many people are familiar with the concept of developing a family plan for emergencies, most fail to take the time to sit down and actually come up with one. One great resource is the FEMA-sponsored website: http://www.ready.gov/. Check out their kids section too: http://www.ready.gov/kidsSchools need to be prepared themselves, as well as teach their staff and students how to be prepared. (more info for schools below)Is your school district prepared for a natural disaster?FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)Emergency Management InsituteThe FEMA EMI offers free, online courses for anyone to

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