September is National Preparedness Month.

National Preparedness month is a nationwide effort to encourage Americans to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and schools.

District 4 Public Health encourages residents to increase their level of preparedness by creating a family disaster kit, making an emergency plan, learning more about natural disasters and potential terrorist’s threats, and getting involved in emergency preparedness efforts in your community.

Get a Kit – A disaster kit should be stored in an easy to carry bag and contain water, nonperishable food items, a basic first aid kit, tools and supplies (matches, map, battery operated radio, etc.), clothing and bedding, hygiene items and medications for each family member. Each disaster kit should also contain important family documents. Keep all items stored in airtight plastic bags. Store your kit in a convenient place accessible to all family members, and keep a smaller version in your car. Remember to rotate your food and water supply every six months to keep items fresh. If you have a disaster kit and have not reviewed the items recently, please take this time to do so. Check to be sure that batteries in flashlights and radios are in proper working order.

Make a Plan – It is important that each person in the family knows what to do, where to go, and who to contact during an emergency. Your family emergency plan should include contact information for all family members, a meeting location outside of the home in case of fire and outside of the neighborhood in case you cannot return home after a disaster, and contact information for one out-of-state and one local friend or relative for family members to call if separated by disaster. Each member of your family should be familiar with the disaster plan and where to locate the disaster supply kit in your home.

Be Informed – Being prepared means staying informed. Check all types of media – Web sites, newspapers, radio, TV, mobile and land phones – for global, national and local information. During an emergency, your local Emergency Management or Emergency Services office will give you information on such things as open shelters and evacuation orders.

Get Involved – In the event of a large-scale public health emergency, persons 18 years and older with a variety of skills and experiences, both medical and non-medical, will be needed to assist and support the existing public health infrastructure. Experience has proven that effective emergency response requires volunteers to be organized and pre-credentialed before a disaster or event occurs. The State Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Georgia integrates government-sponsored local, regional and statewide volunteer programs to assist emergency response and public safety organizations during a disaster. For more information or to get involved, click here.

To learn more about disaster supply kits, creating an emergency plan, natural disasters and potential terrorist threats including biological, chemical, nuclear and radiological, go to and

Knowing what to do is your best protection during an emergency.