September is National Preparedness Month. And with all of us having to deal with the COVID-19 coronavirus, it makes it especially important that everyone is prepared and knows what to do if disaster strikes during a pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to prepare for disasters of all types and consider how they may affect our lives. Start by making a family plan and making sure you have what you need in case of any emergency. Then find ways to get involved—whether by volunteering and receiving training to support disaster preparedness, donating to a local organization, or promoting preparedness online— to help ensure your community is stronger and more resilient to future disaster risks.” - Kevin M. Sligh, acting regional administrator, FEMA Region 5

There is truth to the phrase "knowledge is power." The more you know what to do in case of an emergency, the better your chances of surviving it. Here's what FEMA recommends you and your family do this month.

Week 1: Plan Ahead

Have a conversation with your loved ones about communicating with each other during all stages of a disaster. If a tornado comes and the family is separated, how are you going to make sure you can still reach each other? Think of ways to communicate that don't involve a phone or verbal communication.

Week 2: Gather and Build

You should have enough supplies, such as food and water, to last you a couple of weeks if you can. Pay attention to members of your family that require specific items such as a child with asthma or peanut allergy. Build an emergency kit and check it every few months to make sure your emergency kit is updated.

Week 3: Prepare For Every Scenario

Know your area. What diasters are possible? Do you have insurance for those scenarios? If you're in a flood zone, find out what you can do now to make any potential damage less significant. Know where you will go if disaster strikes.

Week 4: Teach Your Kids

Talk to your kids on what possible disasters might happen and how they should react. Give them as much information as possible, so they expect the unexpected. Let them know how they can assist if necessary.

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An emergency supply list can be found here. More information can be found online at (Spanish site Or download the free FEMA app. Find out more about National Preparedness Month at



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