National Preparedness Month

National Preparedness Month is an observance each September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. The 2021 theme is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.”

National Preparedness Month

The schedule of the 2021 month is:

Week 1, Sept. 1-4: Make a Plan

Week 2, Sept. 5-11: Build a Kit

Week 3, Sept. 12-18: Low-Cost, No-Cost Preparedness

Week 4, Sept. 19-25: Teach Youth About Preparedness

The four steps to starting to prepare you and your house hold for emergencies and disasters are below.

  • Step 1: Put a plan together by discussing the questions below with your family, friends or household to start your emergency plan.
  • Step 2:  Consider specific needs in your household.
  • Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan
  • Step 4: Practice your plan with your family/household

What should go in your emergency kit?  

  • Water—at least a gallon per person, per day
  • Non-perishable food (such as dried fruit, peanut butter, etc.)
  • First Aid Kit
  • Cash
  • Prescription medicines
  • Local Maps
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap
  • Manual can opener
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Extra pair of eyeglasses
  • Matches in a waterproof container (allow an adult to help)
  • Paper plates, plastic cups and utensils, paper towels
  • Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio and a flashlight
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Extra batteries or an alternative power source
  • Pet and service animal supplies
  • Baby supplies (formula, diapers, etc.)

Updating and storing your emergency kit:

 After assembling your kit remember to maintain it so it’s ready when needed:

  • Keep canned food in a cool, dry place.
  • Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers.
  • Replace expired items as needed.
  • Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change  

Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work and cars.

  • Home: Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.
  • Work: Be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Your work kit should include food, water and other necessities like medicines, as well as comfortable walking shoes, stored in a “grab and go” case.
  • Car: In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.

Safeguard Critical Documents & Valuables :

 Household Identification

  • Vital records (birth, marriage, divorce certificate, adoption, child custody papers)
  • Passport, driver’s license, Social Security card, green card, military service identification, etc.
  • Pet ownership papers, identification tags

 Financial & Legal Documentation

  • Housing: lease or rental agreement, mortgage, home equity line of credit, deed
  • Vehicle: loan documents, VIN, registration, title
  • Other Financial Obligations: utility bills, credit cards, student loans, alimony, child support, elder care, automatic payments such as gym memberships
  • Insurance Policies: homeowners, renters, auto, life, flood, appraisals, photos, and lists of valuable items
  • Sources of Income: pay stubs, government benefits, alimony, child support
  • Tax Statements: Federal/state income tax returns, property tax, vehicle tax
  • Estate Planning: will, trust, power of attorney

Medical Information

  • Health/dental insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, VA health benefits
  • List of medications, immunizations, allergies, prescriptions, medical equipment and devices, pharmacy information
  • Living will, medical power of attorney
  • Caregiver agency contract or service agreement
  • Disabilities documentation
  • Contact information for doctors/specialists, dentists, pediatricians, veterinarians

Emergency or Hotline contact information for your household

  • Employers/supervisors and schools
  • Social service providers
  • Houses of worship
  • Homeowners Associations
  • Home Repair Services: utilities, plumber, roofer, carpenter, electrician 

Valuables & Priceless Personal Items

  • Priceless personal mementos, family photos, and keepsakes
  • Possessions with monetary value, including jewelry, art, and collectibles

More resources and information can be found on the sites below.
Know What to Do
Texas Division of Emergency Management