National Preparedness Month

Reader Contribution by Earth Gauge
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From extensive drought and heat waves to tornadoes and Superstorm Sandy, the United States experienced 11 weather and climate disasters in 2012, each with losses in excess of one billion dollars. 2013 has been no stranger to extreme weather and climate conditions either, with major winter storms in the Northeast and Midwest, tornadoes in the Great Plains, persisting drought conditions and historic wildfires in the West, record-breaking heat in Alaska, and major flooding in the Midwest.

Are you ready? 

September is National Preparedness Month – the perfect time to make sure you have the supplies and information you need to stay safe if extreme weather or another emergency occurs where you live.

Know Your Stuff 

Find out what extreme weather events, natural and man-made disasters may occur in your area. Know how you will be notified of an emergency in your community (TV or radio broadcasts, NOAA Weather Radio, Wireless Emergency Alerts, sirens, telephone calls, etc.). Learn about emergency plans established by your state or local government. Get state-by-state information about national disasters and preparedness tips.

Make a Plan 

All family members should know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in different emergency situations. Find out if workplaces, daycares and schools have emergency plans. Find more tips and download a family emergency plan.

Build a Kit 

Keep an emergency supply kit at home that will cover the basics of survival: food, fresh water, clean air and warmth. Find a list of suggested emergency supply kit items.

Consider Special Needs 

Remember that additional planning and supplies may be required for:

Infants and young children


People with disabilities or special needs


Learn more about NOAA’s Weather-Ready Nation initiative:Be a Force of Nature by knowing your risk, taking action and being an example in your community.