September is National Preparedness Month

While some of the calendar days folks celebrate are downright silly (fortune cookie day or miniature golf day), others offer a good opportunity to think about things we should do. September is National Preparedness Month, with a formal campaign that kicked off on September 1 by the U.S. government and their ready.gov website.

We’ve talked in the past about putting together a family plan, making sure your insurance coverage is up to date, and building an emergency kit, but there are more things to consider:

  • Do you have an elderly friend or neighbor who might need some help during an emergency? Sit down with this person and discuss his or her needs and how you can help.
  • Do a supply check. Make sure supplies in your emergency kit are not outdated. This includes medicines, food, and batteries. Test your flashlights and verify your fire extinguishers are charged. Change the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms at least once a year.
  • Consider making regular backups of your computer using an online “cloud” service. Include a full list (with serial numbers, where possible) and photos of your possessions. A backup copy you keep at home may also be damaged if your computer is ruined.
  • Keep lists handy of your contacts, including doctors, in more than one place. Having phone numbers on your mobile device is handy, but if it’s damaged, will you know the numbers?
  • Do you own a weather alert radio? These radios can be set to your specific location and will alert you in the case of dangerous weather. As an alternative, there are reasonably priced mobile apps that offer this same protection but send alerts based on where the GPS settings of your device indicate you are located.
  • Keep your vehicle’s gas tank and your wallet filled. Remember that if the power is out, gas pumps and ATM’s will not work.

Being prepared can keep you safe and give you peace of mind. So use National Preparedness Month to get ready for whatever may come your way.

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