September is National Preparedness Month. Sponsored by CDC, EPA, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and other federal agencies, the purpose of National Preparedness Month is to encourage us to create emergency plans for the future and take preparation steps, ahead of time, within our homes, businesses, schools, and communities.

What are your risks?

First, know what disasters and hazards could affect your area, how to get emergency alerts, and where you would go if you and your family need to evacuate.  Make sure your family has a plan and practices it often. FEMA’s website has a variety of preparedness tips for such hazards as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, landslides, tornadoes and more, along with pandemics and active shooter incidents. View each event and their list of protective actions.

Related: Your business disaster recovery plan: A back-up plan to keep you humming

Also be sure to download the FEMA App to get preparedness strategies, real-time weather and emergency alerts.

Create an emergency kit

If you were stranded in an emergency, do you and your family have everything you need at hand for at least three days? You may want to assemble your kit now in easy-to-carry bags or bins; consider keeping a second kit in the trunk of your car. Include medications, pet supplies, diapers, etc. Bring bottled water and non-perishable food items. A radio with extra batteries and important papers including your tribal ID, should be included.

Have alternate plans

Have an emergency plan to shelter in place, and one to evacuate. If hunkering down, do you have everything you need? If evacuating, what routes will you take? Have at least two different routes in mind. Also, decide on meeting places now, should the family be separated during the day by school and work locations. If you have petschildren, seniors or disabled persons in your household, you’ll need a more detailed plan to keep them safe. Click on each of the four to see tactics to consider.

Related: Do you have a business continuity plan?

Plan ahead for your business

This infographic, provided by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety along with the Insurance Information Institute, outlines safety steps for small businesses to take before, during and after a disaster.

Emergency preparation tips for native tribes