Now is the time to take action and prepare for disasters!

September is National Preparedness Month. We are all able to increase safety and help first responders save more lives by practicing how to respond during an emergency and what to do when disaster strikes. The goal of National Preparedness Month is to increase the overall number of individuals, families and communities that engage in preparedness actions at home, work, business and school.

Below are a few tips from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security to keep in mind when developing a family emergency response plan:

  • Make sure that important documents such as Social Security cards and bank statements are accounted for and readily available in the event of an evacuation.
  • Consider making digital copies of important documents, and make sure they’re secure and accessible.
  • Keep at least a one-week supply of important medications on hand, as they may not be available in a disaster.
  • Consider flood insurance coverage if it isn’t already in place. Be aware that most flood insurance policies have a 30-day waiting period before they can go into effect.

Technology has made it easier than ever to prepare for emergencies. FEMA and the American Red Cross have created multiple apps to keep you connected to tools and preparedness information. Social media is an easy way to let friends and family know you are safe during a disaster, but you can also register with American Red Cross’s Safe & Well site where your loved ones can search the list of those who have registered themselves as safe. It is also helpful to follow local governments on social media to stay up-to-date with official information before a disaster.

Disasters don’t plan ahead, but you can. For additional preparedness and safety information, click here.