September is National Preparedness Awareness Month, and before the 30th comes and goes, don’t let it slip away without first brushing up on your basics.

A panoply of potential disasters are always on the horizon. Just look at the newspaper. How ready are you if there were a real emergency?

Personally, I haven’t practiced my under–the-table technique employed when I was a little girl and the big ole Northridge Earthquake rocked the Southland. But there’s no time like the present.

First things first: if you don’t have one you need to immediately assemble an emergency supply kit.
In said emergency kit there should be the following (but not limited to) items:

• Water, one gallon/per person for three days
• Three-day supply of non-perishable food (don’t forget the can opener!)
• Battery powered radio
• Flashlight
• Extra batteries
• Dusk mask
• First aid kit with all the basics
• Flares or whistle signal for worst case scenarios
• Burner cell phone with extra charger
• Tools to turn off utilities

You should also add extra supplies of any medicine, pet food, baby formula, etc. you might need for your personal circumstances. You know what you need best. Make a list. Make sure it is in a designated location and don’t move it from that spot.
Next. Make a plan.

You and your family should have a well-outlined plan to be enacted in times of emergency— i.e where to meet if you get separated, or how you will contact each other.

Always stay informed.

Know what potential hazards might affect your region and inform yourself and your family. You can learn about emergency shelter and evacuations plans in your neighborhood for all different kinds of disasters.

And if you think you’re prepared, check your Readiness Quotient. A little refresher never hurt anyone, but not knowing has.

-Arianna Schioldager

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