National Preparedness Month: Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare

September is National Preparedness month and the Installation Office of Emergency Management is here to help. By following a simple mantra--be informed, make a plan, build a kit, and get involved--everyone can be prepared for most disasters. For more information call Technical. Sgt. Jonathan Maas or Staff Sgt. Nathan Sisk at 731-6632 or visit www.ready.gov. (Courtesy graphic)

September is National Preparedness month and the Installation Office of Emergency Management is here to help. By following a simple mantra--be informed, make a plan, build a kit, and get involved--everyone can be prepared for most disasters. For more information call Technical. Sgt. Jonathan Maas or Staff Sgt. Nathan Sisk at 731-6632 or visit www.ready.gov. (Courtesy graphic)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- Editor's Note: Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Maas and Staff Sgt. Nathan Sisk from the Installation Office of Emergency Management provided information for this article.

Natural disasters, hazardous material spills, terrorist attacks, and zombie apocalypses are all real and valid reasons to be thinking about preparedness.

OK, preparing for a zombie apocalypse might be a bit farfetched, but having a plan on what to do in a disaster not only at work, but at home could potentially save lives.

September is National Preparedness month, and the Installation Office of Emergency Management is here to help. By following a simple mantra--be informed, make a plan, build a kit, and get involved--everyone can be prepared for most disasters.

Being informed means learning what protective measures to take before, during and after an emergency. Nothing is worse than not preparing for something big. If you were on a football team going to the Super Bowl you would make sure you and your team were ready to win by practicing and training. The same goes for a disaster.

Making a plan includes preparing, planning and staying informed of an emergency. This can be as simple as having a list of important phone numbers and determining local and out of area locations for your family to meet in case of an emergency. A little planning goes a long way because if an emergency arises you may not be as calm and cool-headed when flood waters start rising.

Building a kit with basic necessities that meet the needs of the type of disasters you are preparing for, but what will you need? Non-perishable food - make sure that you are storing foods that you eat now -- nothing is worse than trying to change your diet during an emergency. Water is another must - one gallon per person per day. You should have at least a three day supply of fresh water. Some other items you might need are blankets, first-aid kit, flashlight, extra batteries, and a battery operated radio. Visit www.ready.gov for any additional information on kit items.

Finally, getting involved means finding opportunities to support community preparedness. A connected, tight knit, well-informed community is a stronger community that can make it through and recover from a disaster.

By following these five simple steps, you can ensure that you and your family are prepared for whatever may come.

There is also an opportunity to sign up and for the Federal Emergency Management Agency registered event in support of National Preparedness Month that will lead into the Rocky Mountain ShakeOut earthquake drill taking place all over the world in October.

For more information visit www.ready.gov/september to sign up for America's PrepareAthon.