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September is National Preparedness Month and the now there are helpful tools on the Internet to assist in developing a plan to keep you and your family safe in the event of an emergency. With Hurricane Irene bearing down on the east coast following significant earthquakes in Virginia and Colorado, it is obvious that disasters are possible anywhere.

Ready America is a site with a number of areas of focus, including emergency planning for seniors and pet owners. At you can access an application which will allow you to create a comprehensive family emergency plan. The site also has an interactive map which allows you to click on your home state for emergency contact information.

You can also follow FEMA online at,,, and Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate’s activities at

But before a disaster occurs, every home should have a basic emergency supply kit with these recommended items:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone and chargers

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