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September marks National Preparedness month

(KTIV)- Hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, house fires — they are all considered to be disasters.

No matter where you live, a disaster can strike at any time.

To raise awareness of the need to prepare for anything and everything, September is set aside as National Preparedness month.

“Anything can cause a disaster,” said Deanna Hagberg, Dakota County Emergency Manager. “If we’re not prepared for that, at some point or somehow, then it gets very devastating for a family, a neighborhood, or a community.”

After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days.

The first plan of action each person or family should have is to put together an emergency kit that is easily accessible.

“Each paycheck, just buy something different and add to that kit,” said Hagberg. “And before you know it, you have something there that if something happens, you can grab and go.”

Non-perishable foods and water are important to have in the kits.

And Deanna Hagberg, Dakota County Emergency Manager, says you need to think beyond the typical items.

“What about your pets? If you had something where you needed to grab your pet and go, do you have a kit together for that pet?” adds Hagberg. “Or medication- if you take medication daily, and all of a sudden you have nothing around you, make sure you have that medication- or have a way that you can have at least a week’s worth.”

If disaster strikes, and you lose electricity, you need to make sure you can survive without it.

“If we lose electricity, ATMs don’t work,” said Hagberg. “So how are we going to survive? So we always try to advise people- try to keep extra cash.”

Another tip is to be prepared if your phone is no longer accessible.

“It’s really important when we start working on our plans to have the important information written down on paper,” adds Hagberg. “And then if you have children that are in school or even college, make sure everyone has that same information with them.”

Each week of the month has a different purpose for the cause:

Week 1: September 1-7 Save Early for Disaster Costs
Week 2: September 8-14 Make a Plan to Prepare for Disasters
Week 3: September 15-21 Teach Youth to Prepare for Disasters
Week 4: September 22-30 Get Involved in Your Community’s Preparedness

Jennifer Lenzini

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