Health officials: Prepare to protect loved ones 

September is National Preparedness Month

Emergency preparedness products are displayed before being packed into kits at a Utah store in 2006. September is National Preparedness Month. (AP Photo/Steve C. Wilson)

Emergency preparedness products are displayed before being packed into kits at a Utah store in 2006. September is National Preparedness Month. (AP Photo/Steve C. Wilson)

Disasters don’t wait for us to feel prepared, they can happen to anyone at any time, so it’s important to ensure safety and protect loved ones by preparing for them throughout the year.

Each September, District Health Department No.10 highlights National Preparedness Month to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergency situations.

“Everyone should have emergency plans in place and supplies stocked to care for their families for at least 72 hours, but ideally two weeks," said Bret Haner, emergency preparedness coordinator for DHD No. 10.

"As we saw this past month, many residents in Michigan went without power for several days because of summer storms. That is a prime example of why preparing for disasters in advance is so important.”

Ready.gov, the official website of the Department of Homeland Security, has put together a “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love” campaign for this year’s Emergency Preparedness Month.

Each week in September has a special theme with suggestions for disaster and emergency related activities:

• Week 1: Make A Plan. Talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster. Make sure to update your Emergency Plan based on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations due to COVID-19.

• Week 2: Build A Kit. Gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home. Don’t forget to consider the unique needs of each person or pet. Update your kits and supplies based on CDC recommendations.

• Week 3:Prepare for Disasters. Limit the impacts that disasters have on you and your family. Know the risk of disasters in your area and check your insurance coverage. Learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms and other common hazards and act fast if you receive a local warning or alert.

• Week 4: Teach Youth About Preparedness. Talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved.

For more information about National Preparedness Month and emergency preparedness visit www.ready.gov/september www.dhd10.org/men-women/mw-emergency-preparedness.