Before the month of September passes us by, I think we should all participate in 'National Preparedness Month' as it's designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). We all know how fast and how bad the weather gets here in West Texas. If (heaven forbid), a tornado or flood should hit or a wild-fire takes your home, are you ready? Here's a couple of my ideas and what FEMA recommends.

National Preparedness Month simply means, putting a plan together for your family in the event of disasters or emergencies. There are some very simple things we can do to get this done. Whether we're enduring severe weather, a fire in our home, a hazardous materials incident in the neighborhood, or any other emergency, it's a good idea to plan in advance. One of the very first things that I did was put together two very well stocked 'First Aid Kits'. The main kit is the one my daughter is always getting into for band-aides, the big household, centrally located first-aid-kit. The second is smaller (not as many bandages, smaller ointment containers) and very portable.

Putting the kits together was easy, fun and a step in the right direction. I did it ours while we were out shopping one weekend. I first found the cases and then we filled them. Yes, I know I could have purchased one already put together but I included my daughter and grandchildren and they helped pick the band-aides. I was a very good learning experience for the kids and now the don't use "as many" bandages as before.

If you'd like to put a better preparedness plan here are some steps to follow that our friends at FEMA recommend:

Talk to your family members about preparedness and how to respond calmly to emergencies. Discuss what you would need to do to shelter in place, leave your home or evacuate your city.


  • Identify two meeting places, one near your home and one away from the neighborhood in the event family members cannot return to the house.
  • Post emergency phone numbers beside the telephone. Teach children how to call 911.
  • Choose a friend or relative out-of-state whom all family members will telephone to check in. The out-of-state relative can relay messages. When evacuating, notify relatives and friends about your plans. Be familiar with designated evacuation routes leading out of town.
  • Draw a home floor plan and choose at least two escape routes. Make sure you know how to shut off the water, gas and electricity.
  • Keep an emergency supplies and first-aid-kit, including water, non-perishable food, important documents, radio and flashlight with extra batteries, extra eye glasses, medications and special needs products for babies and the elderly.
  • Make plans for family members or neighbors with special needs, as well as for care of pets.

Source: FEMA, the Ad Council and

During National Preparedness Month, and throughout the year, FEMA invites everyone to prepare in advance for all types of natural disasters. The Ready Campaign's websites and toll-free numbers (1-800-BE-READY and 1-888-SE-LISTO) provide free emergency preparedness information and resources.